SUDAN - Aug. 1 - 'UN Relief Effort Must Leave Kenya'.
Sudan accuses aid groups of providing funds and supplies to rebels
fighting the Khartoum government and says it had asked the UN to move
its relief operations from Kenya to southern Sudan. 'Al Ayam'
reports that on July 31, Gutbi Al Mahdi, minister of social planning,
had "notified the UN representative in Khartoum on the
government's wish to transfer the activities of the southern sector
[of Operation Lifeline Sudan] which is launched from Lokichokio in Kenya
to within Sudan". (Operation Lifeline is a UN-led relief effort
operating out of Kenya and Khartoum, and supplies aid to civilians in
both government and rebel-held areas in southern Sudan.) Mahdi is quoted
as saying: "They have undertaken financing operations for the army
of the rebels and have provided all their supplies". (Pres. Bashir
had accused aid groups of helping the rebel Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA) and threatened to end their operations. On July
29, an SPLA statement denied the claims.) Mahdi is quoted as saying the
SPLA did not cultivate areas under its control because of food, military
and logistical assistance from aid groups. (Over 1.5m people have died
in the civil war.) 'SUNA' reports the UN had agreed there was
a need to review relief operations in south Sudan. (The UN said in March
it would tighten flight procedures after it ferried pro-government
militia leaders on a relief plane, triggering a hostage crisis.) Mahdi
says Sudan wanted to forge a new relationship with Operation Lifeline
based on "respect for national sovereignty and transparency".