SUDAN WATCH: AL chief says remaining NGOs to stay in Darfur Sudan - Lots of aid workers flying out of Khartoum to Nairobi on Monday

Saturday, March 07, 2009

AL chief says remaining NGOs to stay in Darfur Sudan - Lots of aid workers flying out of Khartoum to Nairobi on Monday

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa told Xinhua that "what has happened is happened, and the NGOs that were not expelled would stay in Darfur to carry out their missions."

"The Arab League will continue its efforts to defuse the crisis," he said, adding that an AL delegation would go to UN headquarters to lobby against the ICC's arrest warrant. "But the final results are up to the stance of members of the UN Security Council."

Source: China View March 8, 2009 -
AL chief : Remaining NGOs to stay in Darfur -
KHARTOUM, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa said Saturday that the remaining NGOs would stay in Darfur to continue humanitary operations.

"NGOs will stay in Darfur to carry out humanitarian operations," Moussa, who came here in the afternoon, said while briefing reporters after a meeting with the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the presidential residence.

Arab League Secretary General

Photo: Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa speaks to media after meeting with Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, March 7, 2009. Amr Moussa said here Saturday that the remaining NGOs would stay in Darfur to continue humanitary operations. (Xinhua/Zhai Xi)

When asked if that means Sudan has revoked the decision to expel 13 foreign NGOs, Moussa told Xinhua that "what has happened is happened, and the NGOs that were not expelled would stay in Darfur to carry out their missions."

The UN said Friday in a press release that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is contacting leaders in the region to ask Sudan to reconsider its decision to expel the 13 NGOs, which aid some 4.7 million people in the country's war-torn western region of Darfur.

Meanwhile, Ban has also made telephone calls with the leaders of the African Union and the AL, which group Sudan's regional allies.

Arab League Secretary General

Photo: Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (R) meets with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, March 7, 2009. (Xinhua/Osman)

As for the upcoming Arab summit in Doha at the end of the month, Moussa said, "We are expecting all Arab leaders to take part in the summit, so we expect that Bashir would participate in the meeting."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant against Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's restive western region of Darfur between 2003 and2008.

Sudan has rejected the ICC's jurisdiction since the court's prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo launched a campaign against Bashir in July, saying that it is not a signatory of the Rome Statute.

"The Arab League will continue its efforts to defuse the crisis," he said, adding that an AL delegation would go to UN headquarters to lobby against the ICC's arrest warrant. "But the final results are up to the stance of members of the UN Security Council."

The talks with the embattled president on Saturday evening was "frank," Moussa said. And the two sides also touched on regional issues, including the Palestinian cause.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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Here is the latest on Twitter from Rob Crilly in Darfur, western Sudan - 2 tweets:
Aid workers being called in Humanitarian Aid Commission for questioning
Twitter / robcrilly 7/3/09 18:04

lots of aid workers flying out of Khartoum to Nairobi on Monday
Twitter / robcrilly 7/3/09 about 15 hours ago
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Snippet from thetimes.co.za March 7, 2009:
Dear Sis Beatrice,
The African Union, supported by the South African government, has slammed the International Criminal Court for issuing a warrant of arrest for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir because they say it would hamper the peace process in Sudan.
The ICC says there is no peace process. So is there one or isn’t there?
Confused

It’s not that simple. The ICC is made up mainly of Europeans who come from a very different background to those who live in Africa. For them, peace processes involve a cessation of hostilities, a visit by Jimmy Carter and a nice chat with the rebels in an air-conditioned conference room at a five-star hotel. Africans, on the other hand, consider a peace process to be under way when the president appears in a suit instead of a general’s uniform.

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