Talking to the 'other side': Humanitarian negotiations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan

Research reports and studies
August 2013

The humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is dire, and getting worse. After renewed conflict in June 2011, humanitarian organisations have struggled to effectively engage with armed non-state actors and with the Government of Sudan (GoS) in pursuit of humanitarian objectives.

This Working Paper examines humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. It also illuminates the dire and dangerous conditions faced by conflict-affected populations within areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and by populations displaced to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Through interviews with armed groups, aid workers, local and international experts and civilians, the study aims to improve understanding of the opportunities for, and obstacles to, engagement with the SPLM-N and the Government of Sudan for humanitarian access. The study highlights lessons learnt from the process of humanitarian engagement so far, and points to options and alternatives for negotiating access in the context of the current humanitarian crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.