SUDAN WATCH: EU considers sending Sudan aid via Egypt

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

EU considers sending Sudan aid via Egypt

News report from Radio Netherlands Monday 16 March 2009
EU considers sending Sudan aid via Egypt
The European Union is examining whether it would be possible to transport aid supplies to Sudan via Egypt. It says that if such a move were possible, it would ensure that the supplies succeeded in reaching the Sudanese population. However, before doing so, it said it would first consult with the African Union and the Arab league.

The decision to try to use Egypt was taken after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told thousands of soldiers at a rally on Monday that international aid organisations would have to stop distributing food by the end of the year. The president said he wanted to "completely Sudanise" food distribution. He said the aid organisations could "just leave [the food] at the airport", and that Sudanese organisations would distribute it.

The Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said such a step would leave millions of people without water, food or medical help.

The International Criminal Court recently issued a warrant for the arrest of President Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In response, Khartoum expelled 16 aid organisations from the trouble-stricken country.

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