An international plan to get food into Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan is not needed, the state's governor said on Thursday, despite international fears that hundreds of thousands could soon go hungry in the area.
Ahmed Haroun told foreign reporters that a joint proposal by the African Union, Arab League and United Nations was not necessary.
"No need for that," Haroun said, adding that his government had made available enough resources for humanitarian assistance to the needy.
"So we can make it alone," he said in Talodi, which was besieged for days by rebels into early April, forcing thousands to flee.
Ethnic minority insurgents in the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have been battling government troops for several months in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The rebels fought alongside former insurgents now ruling in South Sudan, which became independent last July. The South denies Khartoum's claim that it supports the SPLM-N.
Sudanese and South Sudanese forces resumed clashes along their border this week, bringing them closest to a return to outright war.
Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, last week said it was "a very high priority" to get food in to South Kordofan.
Sudan has cited security concerns in severely controlling access for relief agencies but UN officials have repeatedly said they need full access,- including to rebel-held areas, to properly assess the needs of the people.
"Actually this is a side effect," said Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's western region of Darfur.
"Let us deal with the real reason. Let us stop the war so we can be in a better situation to deal with the side effects."
Most government aid has gone to government-held zones, the UN has said.
Sources said late last month that the joint aid plan was being finalised. But there has been no announcement about completion of the deal.
Christa Capozzola, a senior official at the US Agency for International Development, said the situation was "very serious" with 200,000 to 250,000 people close to running short of food in South Kordofan.
Similar shortages were expected by August in nearby Blue Nile state.
The United Nations says the fighting has displaced or severely affected 350,000 people from both states.© ANP/AFP