US offers $26m in Sudan refugee aid
04 April 2012, 16:33
Washington - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday provided $26m to
tackle an urgent and developing refugee crisis brought on by violence in
Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The funds will be
used to support lifesaving work by the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees with more than 140 000 displaced people from the two
states, said National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor.
United States is gravely concerned by the situation in South Kordofan
and Blue Nile, especially as the violent clashes continue along the
shared border with South Sudan," Vietor said.
"We continue to
call upon the government of Sudan to allow full and unfettered access
for international humanitarian agencies to South Kordofan and Blue Nile
to provide emergency assistance to those in need.
States continues to call upon Sudan and South Sudan to exercise maximum
restraint and to reach a negotiated settlement to the outstanding issues
On Monday, Obama called South Sudan's US-backed
President Salva Kiir to voice concern over bloodshed at the border and
within Southern Kordofan state.
Obama is pressing Sudan and South
Sudan to reach an agreement on oil production. South Sudan made the
drastic decision in January to halt production of its main money-maker
after Sudan started to seize crude due to a payment dispute.
Sudan became independent in July last year after an overwhelming vote
following two decades of war. Khartoum, long a pariah over its actions
in South Sudan and Darfur, won cautious Western praise by accepting the
But violence soon erupted in Sudan's southern states
of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. A relentless bombing campaign has
severely hampered agriculture, leading aid workers to warn of starvation
without immediate action.
More recently, Sudan and South Sudan
have engaged in the worst violence since Juba's independence, with
airstrikes, tanks and artillery fire.