A political impasse is delaying the delivery of aid to 600,000 people in need in Sudan’s war-torn South Kordofan region, writes Nuba Reports in the Huffington Post.

Sudan has been bombing rebel groups based there, as well as destroying farmland and crops.

Hope came from an agreed six-month ceasefire extension in the ongoing conflict, and from the lifting of sanctions on Sudan by outgoing US President Barack Obama, with a chance of humanitarian relief reaching the South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas for the first time in six years.

However, there is a political stand-off between the government in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) as to how and by what route the aid should be delivered.

As the sticking-point of cross-border aid remains unresolved, civilians in the war-affected areas of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile face worsening food needs, particularly for displaced people, as years of war and poor harvests take their toll.

In January, Czech aid worker Petr Jašek was sentenced to 23 years in prison for “spying” and “war against [Sudan] after videos and material from South Kordofan were seized on his laptop as he tried to leave Khartoum airport in December 2015. A church leader from South Kordofan and a Darfuri activist were also sentenced to 12 years each for “aiding” him.