Nairobi - In the Sudan today, millions of people are at risk from hunger and starvation, millions more have been forced to leave their homes and families torn apart by violence and death. Epidemics and hunger have once again thrown Sudanese society into turmoil. The ongoing humanitarian crisis has now reached an unimaginable and extraordinary level of tragedy. The international humanitarian response over the years has failed to effectively address the crisis. It is imperative that the international community act now to improve the humanitarian response, acting to guarantee:
- Unrestricted access to all populations in need;
- Increased commitment of resources;
- Increased respect for humanitarian principles and increased accountability for the flow of aid.
The current civil war is only the latest phase of ongoing conflicts over the past forty years. The war has caused millions of civilian deaths, massive displacement, the de-population of the south of Sudan, the collapse of the rural economy, the collapse of local governance, increasing local instability and ethnic hostilities and the collapse of political accountability of the government and rebel movements of the Sudan to their own citizens. The majority of Sudanese are impoverished and deprived of any future opportunity by the continuing crisis. The parties to the war are all responsible for massive human rights abuses and the dispossession and looting of the Sudanese people. Sudanese society is now so weakened, that if the conflict continues, further humanitarian disasters are inevitable. Famine, death and despair are becoming constant spectres, haunting the Sudan. Peace is the only hope for progress and to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe. The international community must unite to:
- Recognize their responsibilities for the support of the development of peace in the Sudan;
- Collaborate to build sufficient international consensus to generate a forceful and positive lobby for peace - as there is no possible military solution;
- Support to a local solution to the conflict (fully incorporating all members of Sudanese society and the regional powers/states);
- Commit to supporting the implementation of a peace agreement;
- Commit to longer term assistance to ensure equitable re-construction of the basis of Sudanese society, in order to increase the motivation of local leaders to seek peace.