Sudan considers lifting ban on relief flights
The government imposed the ban in Eastern and Western Equatoria on Friday due to fighting between its troops and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), saying the aim was to protect relief workers.
Following talks with UN officials, Sudan's humanitarian aid commissioner, Sulaf Eddin Salih, told reporters the talks centred on difficulties facing relief work due to the ban.
"We do not have to give justifications to the United Nations because it is our partner in the humanitarian action and appreciates the reasons for the ban, " he said.
But "the government is considering the lifting of the ban," Salih added after the meeting with UN Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Konzwa Oshima and the UN humanitarian affairs envoy in Sudan, Tom Vraaslin.
He accused the SPLA of prompting the ban with its capture of Torit and of blocking relief supplies to areas surrounding the southern garrison town for more than a month.
The Sudanese official complained that the United Nations had, "until now, failed to provide the government with maps of the relief operations" as previously requested by Khartoum.
Salih also called for "a fair" distribution of relief operations in government- and SPLA-held areas.
The official, however, praised the United Nations as "a major partner" in humanitarian efforts. "We have been cooperating in this field for many years," he said.
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