UNICEF welcomes cessation of hostilities in Sudan

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Children in Jawa village, in East Jabel Marra (South Darfur). File Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Proposals by warring sides in Sudan to silence their guns have been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The decision could mean that thousands of children living in areas that have been inaccessible for four years would now receive lifesaving health care.

Dianne Penn reports.

UNICEF on Tuesday welcomed recent proposals from the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Force for a cessation of hostilities.

The announcements were made in August and September, respectively.

UNICEF said it has consistently called for an end to the fighting.

The agency has also urged all sides to guarantee the safety of all children, as well as unimpeded humanitarian access to the Nuba Mountains, parts of the Blue Nile States and Jabel Mara.

As these areas have not been accessed since 2011, the scope of humanitarian needs is only partially known but extremely worrying, said UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac.

"An estimated 165,000 children under the age of five have had no access to vaccination in the Nuba Mountains and some localities in the Blue Nile State alone. Sudan's children continue to be beleaguered by disease outbreaks such as measles—as you know, measles is killing lots of children when it's not prevented–dengue fever and diarrhoea."

UNICEF is urging all sides to commit to a vaccination plan that has been in operation for three years but is updated regularly.

The agency reports that some two million children under five years old in Sudan are acutely malnourished.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'25"

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