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On Syria, Amos on Rebel Checkpoints, Urges Cross Border But Not In Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 18 -- After the Syria humanitarian consultations of the UN Security Council Thursday, Inner City Press asked the UN's Valerie Amos for more information on the “fifty checkpoints” she cited, half government and half opposition.

  Amos told Inner City Press that the Syrian government now requires two ministers' letters for every shipment, which will substantially slow down the World Food Program.

  And what about the opposition or rebels, Inner City Press asked. Amos said that passage has to be negotiated with each rebel group. How is that going to be fixed?

  Also taking questions was the representative of the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR. Inner City Press asked about the draft General Assembly resolution on which it first reported, and put online. Since it would ask for a proposal for internally displaced people in Syria, what would be the proposals of UNCHR?

  The response was that while UNHRC has already aided -- cross border? -- Aleppo, its position is that borders should remain open and people must be able to apply for asylum.

  But is this type of recommendation the resolution's drafters, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are looking for? Or do they want a call for “safe zones” inside Syria, to be militarily enforced?

  Since Amos is now calling for cross-border aid into Syria without Syrian government consent, Inner City Press asked her why she and the UN have NOT called for that through South Sudan into Southern Kordofan, Sudan, despite Amos and especially John Ging speaking passionately about the blockage of aid there.

Here is some of Amos on Kordofan.

   And here is Ging, this year.

Amos on Thursday indicated if and when she thinks cross-border aid is needed in Southern Kordofan, she will make that request to the Security Council.

  To some this is hard to understand. Has Sudan been negotiating reasonably? Or is Southern Kordofan not as important to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs? Watch this site.

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