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Humanitarian Aid Access to Sudan's Border States


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On Wednesday, as the ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on African Affairs, I joined with U.S. Senators Chris Coons, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss. to introduce a "sense-of-the-Senate" resolution demanding the government of Sudan allow immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions where hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of starvation.

Conflict between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement -- North has been ongoing since 2011 in two of Sudan's border states. According to the Famine Early Warning Network, more than 250,000 people in this region will face emergency food shortages in the next three months unless aid is allowed to reach them. The Sudanese government has refused repeated requests by the United States, the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States, non-governmental organizations, and others to allow humanitarian access to the conflict areas.

The resolution urges the government of Sudan to allow "immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to South Kordofan, Blue Nile and all other conflict-affected areas of Sudan," and implores Sudan and the Liberation Movement to cease hostilities and negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict. The resolution also urges the government of Sudan and the Liberation Movement to allow civilians to leave the region voluntarily, and offers support for ongoing efforts by the Obama administration and international partners to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas and encourage a return to negotiations.

It is crucial that humanitarian aid is allowed into these devastated areas and that the government of Sudan and the Liberation Movement end hostilities immediately. Once again, civilians are bearing the overwhelming burden of violence in Sudan, and I join my colleagues in calling for a sustained effort toward achieving a lasting peace in the region. To view the text of the resolution,


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