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Sudan: UN, government officials hold talks on humanitarian situation

Sudan: UN, government officials hold talks on humanitarian situation

Kenzo Oshima
A senior United Nations relief official met today with Sudanese government representatives in a bid to encourage an end to the country's long-running conflict and improvements in the humanitarian situation for millions of people in need there.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Kenzo Oshima, along with Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs for the Sudan, Tom Eric Vraalsen, met in Khartoum with senior government officials as part of Mr. Oshima's 12-day, four-nation tour to help improve the national and international response to major humanitarian emergencies in Africa.

At a press encounter after his meetings, Mr. Oshima said he had reiterated the messages the Secretary-General had sent to the Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), calling for an end to the fighting, a return to the negotiating table and a move towards a peaceful solution to the conflict for the sake of the country's people. He said he would deliver those same messages to SPLM officials when he meets with them later this week.

Mr. Oshima said he also raised issues of concern to UN humanitarian agencies and their partners, including the recent flight bans over the Equatoria provinces in southern Sudan. He said he had received assurances that the Government would look into those problems with a view to resolving them urgently.