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UN relief chief voices alarm at humanitarian situation in Sudanese states

18 February 2012 – The United Nations relief chief has expressed deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Sudan's states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where continued fighting is killing countless civilians and displacing hundreds of thousands of others.

In a statement issued last night, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said action was urgently needed to assist the needs of people caught up in the conflict.

Ms. Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, called on the Sudanese Government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) to respond swiftly and positively to the joint proposal of the UN, the Arab League and the African Union for humanitarian workers to be granted immediate access to those in need in the two states.

“What is needed above all else is for the fighting to stop and for the two sides to commit to resolving the current dispute through peaceful means,” she said.

Ms. Amos welcomed the Security Council press statement earlier this week that urges Khartoum and the SPLM-N to allow unhindered access for aid personnel, and for both sides to return to talks and agree on an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, which lie on the border between Sudan and its recently independent neighbour, South Sudan, have been beset by fighting for nearly a year. The SPLM-N was previously part of the rebel movement that fought for the independence of South Sudan.

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