Sudan has agreed to let the United States provide relief to its famine-ravaged southern region, and food and medical supplies began moving today to thousands of sick and starving people, U.S. officials said.
The airlift was begun after a meeting in Khartoum of Sudanese Prime Minister Sadek Mahdi with U.S. Ambassador G. Norman Anderson and Walter Bollinger, an official of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The agreement breaks a deadlock between the government and foreign aid donors.
The Sudanese government, which has fought an intermittent war with Christians and animists in the south who resisted the imposition of Islamic law, had resisted delivery of food supplies into rebel areas.
Lately, however, the rebel Sudanese People's Liberation Army, commanded by U.S.-educated Col. John Garang, has fired on relief planes and convoys, making assistance difficult. The rebels are backed by the Marxist government in Ethiopia.