Joint Sudan-US-UN team to assess aid needs in Nuba mountains

Dec 19 (AFP)

A joint Sudanese-US-UN mission will next week begin a mission to assess aid requirements in central Sudan's Nuba mountains following an aid drop to rebel-held areas, a Sudanese government relief official said Wednesday.

The mission, aimed at assessing health and educational requirements as well as food, would include representatives of the Khartoum government, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the US Agency for International Development, and the United Nations, humanitarian aid commissioner Sulaf Eddin Salih was quoted as saying by the independent daily Al Ayam.

A UN operation to airdrop food to SPLA-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains was completed in early December, with over 2,000 tons delivered in four weeks.

However, an official from the UN World Food Program was quoted by Al Ayam as saying that there were some areas of the Nuba mountains where aid had not been distributed for over two years.

The government and the SPLA have agreed to extend a truce in the Nuba mountains in place since last month to allow relief supplies to be distributed in the area, the US State Department said last week.