The High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union issued a statement on Thursday condemning recent attacks on civilians in Umm Rawaba, North Kordofan, by a rebel alliance.
Last Saturday the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of rebel forces recruiting primarily in Darfur and Kordofan, reportedly raided Umm Rawaba, overpowering local security forces, firing at government buildings and looting the market.
In her statement, Catherine Ashton also condemned the ongoing fighting between government and SPLM-North forces in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
She noted that for the first time since 2011 the Sudanese government and SPLM-N held direct talks to try to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The High Representative urged both parties to commit to resume negotiations in good faith in order to agree on an immediate ceasefire, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and on a comprehensive solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile with a view to an inclusive national dialogue.
On 29 April, Radio Tamazuj reported that the negotiation process between the Sudanese government and SPLM-North was suspended in Addis Ababa amidst claims of diverging interests.
File photo: Catherine Ashton (EU)
Related: UN aid boss ‘shocked’ by North Kordofan attack, Sudan (29 April 2013)
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/47917
EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs welcomed via her spokesperson the imminent start of direct negotiations between the Sudanese government and the rebel group SPLM-North.
However, Catherine Ashton, who is also vice president of the European Commission, is calling on both parties “to address the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access and a longer term political solution to their conflict”.
The talks that began on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa follow the signing of the Implementation Matrix on 12 March and direct contacts at the highest level between Sudan and South Sudan.
In line with reporting by Radio Tamazuj, the head of the Sudanese delegation, Ibrahim Ghandour al-Mahdi, noted that the talks will only be in relation to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The SPLM-N spokesman, Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, responded that limiting the talks in this way creates further obstacles than solutions.
The armed conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has affected almost a million people and caused the displacement of 200,000 refugees to neighboring countries.
Ashton urged the parties to continue their positive engagement to resolve all outstanding issues and noted the EU “remains ready to provide support.”
File photo: Catherine Ashton (EU)
Negotiations between Sudanese government and SPLM-N begin (24 April 2013, Radio Tamazuj)
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/47261
April 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The European Union announced on Monday it will sink more than 14.5 million euros ($18.8 million) into health-related programmes in Sudan in an effort to strengthen the sector.
A nurse medicates a patient in the intensive-care unit of El Fasher Hospital, North Darfur. The unit has just 10 beds and is unable to accommodate all the patients requiring care (Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID)
Ambassador Tomas Ulicny, head of delegation of the European Union to Sudan, made the pledge in a speech at the opening of the global health diplomacy workshop in Khartoum.
The two-day workshop, which aims to highlight the impact of politics on health issues, will debate work papers on health policies, and is also being attended by a number of ambassadors, diplomats, Sudanese government officials and representatives from international health organisations.
In his speech, Ulicny said the EU’s commitment to Sudan was aimed at strengthening relations between the two parties, saying strong engagement from all sides was needed to reach the goal of “a prosperous, safe and healthy population in Sudan”.
“Aware of the importance of health as a basic right and a factor fostering stabilisation and development, EU is engaging to support Sudan in this crucial sector,” he said.
“[In] the current political and economic context, the EU stands ready to provide support [to] the Sudanese population to improve equitable access to health services”, he added.
The EU contribution includes 12 million euros for strengthening health services in Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea states according to priorities identified in the national health sector plan.
A further 1.5 million euros has been allocated for the Darfur Basic Services Project targeting maternal health in South and East Darfur states by training midwives and nurses, while more than 1 million euros will be channelled through grants supporting non-state actors to address basic health services.
In recognition of the difficulties encountered in developing sector strategies, Ulicny said the EU is also providing a 23 million euro financial contribution to support policy dialogue on national health policies, strategies and plans in seven countries, including Sudan.
Ulicny said advancing global health remained one of the EU’s top priorities, saying that addressing ongoing disparities was crucial to bringing stability in the developing world.
Recognising the close inter-connections between health and foreign policy, as well as its relationship to other sectors, including education, economics, trade and agriculture, Ulicny said the EU was working to address health issues via a complex network of different actors in public and private sectors, disciplines and politics.
“The importance that the EU attaches to global health is well illustrated by the financial effort of the EU, and the volume of the EU funding to health-related programmes,” he said.
Ulicny also announced that the EU would continue its support to the global health sector with an additional contribution of 6 million euros.
At international level, the EU has invested some 83.4 million euro in the GAVI Alliance which works to save children’s lives through immunisation and continues to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, providing 54% of total funding since its inception.
Last November, the Sudanese health minister Bahar Idris Abu Garda called on the ministry of finance to increase the salaries of all doctors working in remote areas, conceding the lack of medical personnel in Sudan, particularly the lack of specialists in peripheral states presented key challenges in the sector.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46330