KHARTOUM  - Sudan’s parliament rejected on Monday a United Nations call for talks with rebels who have been fighting government troops for almost a year.

It also said it would not allow foreign aid agencies into rebel-held areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, as proposed jointly by the United Nations, African Union and Arab League.

Rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have been fighting in South Kordofan since last June, and in Blue Nile since September. They were allies of southern rebels who now rule in South Sudan, which became independent last July under a peace deal which ended Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war.

“We reject negotiations with SPLM-North,” Mohammed Al-Hassan Al-Amin, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told the chamber. In a UN Security Council resolution passed on May 2, the United Nations said the Khartoum government and SPLM-N “shall extend full cooperation” to the African Union and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), East Africa’s main diplomatic body, to reach a negotiated settlement.

There can be no military solution, the United Nations said, stressing the need for a political settlement “based on respect for diversity in unity.”

The UN resolution seeks to end weeks of border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, and resolve protracted disputes between the two nations. Khartoum accuses the South of supporting SPLM-N and other insurgents, a charge denied by Juba which alleges Sudan backs rebels on its territory. Both sides must end the practice, the UN resolution says.

It also strongly urges SPLM-N and the Sudanese government to accept the UN-AU-Arab League plan for aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile. But Sudan’s parliament said no. “We reject allowing international aid groups to assist in rebel areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan,” Al-Amin said. Sudan has cited security concerns in severely controlling access for foreign relief agencies to both states. Journalists are also not permitted to report freely in the area. The UN and others have warned for months that aid agencies need access throughout the warzone - including to rebel-held regions - to properly assess people’s needs and distribute assistance to prevent a worse humanitarian situation.

In late April, the United Nations said a surging number of hungry refugees were fleeing fighting between SPLM-N and Sudanese troops. Some people were reduced to foraging in the wild, it said.

Sources in late March said negotiators were finalising the tripartite aid plan. But it has still not been implemented.