SUDAN WATCH: Expulsion of NGOs is causing a humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Expulsion of NGOs is causing a humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan?

African 'rebels' sure cost the UN a lot of money. Now the UN's Refugee Agency is setting up refugee camps near the border between Sudan and the DR Congo to host Congolese refugees displaced by the joint military attacks on the Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The expulsion of foreign non-governmental organizations by the Government of National Unity is causing a humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan state, according to the deputy speaker of South Kordofan state parliament, Siddiq Mansour.

See the following five snippets from yesterday's news at Sudan Radio Service:
17 March - (Khartoum) - President Omar al-Bashir says there will be no international humanitarian organizations operating in Sudan next year.

Addressing a gathering of Sudan Armed Forces, security and police at Green Square in Khartoum on Monday, President al-Bashir said national organizations will take full control of humanitarian operations in Sudan.

[Omar Al Bashir]: “We have authorized the Humanitarian Aid Commission to let Sudanese organizations provide humanitarian work in a year’s time. I do not like to have any foreign organizations dealing with Sudanese citizens. Whoever wants to bring relief should hand it over at the airport or at the port, the national NGOs will be the ones to deal with the citizens. They will be the ones to serve their citizens because they know their behavior. They will not change the citizens, that is why we must take full control of our country and purify it from the influence of spies, cowards and traitors who are making business in our name.”

President al-Bashir reiterated his position that he will not be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

[Omar al-Bashir]: “We have expelled their organizations which were tools of neo-colonialism, they were spies, they used to fabricate reports and they used to instigate IDPs and confuse them, misleading visitors who visited the camps and they prepared witnesses and forced them memorize what to say and they were sent to The Hague to testify, to testify against who? And who will go to The Hague to be judged by cowards and traitors hired by the ICC intelligence?”

President al-Bashir warned western countries not to re-colonize Sudan, and said they would "meet death" if they came.
- - -

17 March - (Khartoum) - A Dutch NGO, Dorcas Aid International, says it has constructed 300 homes for poor families at Jabarona Displaced Camp, west of Omdurman in Khartoum state.

The acting country coordinator for Dorcas in Sudan, John Stephen Yona, said the Dorcas office in Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal state also provides foodstuffs to the elderly, the poor and homeless children in the town.

He said Dorcas is constructing a vocational training centre and a home for the elderly in Wau.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
- - -

17 March - (Juba) - The United Nations Refugee Agency is setting up refugee camps near the border between Sudan and the DRC to host Congolese refugees displaced by the joint military attacks on the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Lise Grande is the UN deputy resident and humanitarian coordinator for south Sudan:

[Lise Grande]:“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – UNHCR, which is a part of the UN specializing in providing support for the refugees, is looking after more than 16,000 refugees that have come in from the DRC. UNHCR has been doing terrific work in providing assistance to them, making sure they have food which is provided by the World Food Program, making sure that they have non-food kits; shelter materials, buckets and the things you need in order to set up a household. They have also helped to arrange for the settlement of the refugees away from the border.”

Grande said that the 7000 refugees who settled in nine different locations along the Sudan-DRC border will be relocated to Makpaundu camp, 45 kilometers from Yambio.
- - -

17 March - (South Kordofan) - The expulsion of foreign non-governmental organizations by the Government of National Unity is causing a humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan state, according to the deputy speaker of South Kordofan state parliament, Siddiq Mansour.

Mansour told Sudan Radio Service by phone from Kadugli that the SPLM was not consulted on the expulsion of the NGOs.

[Siddiq Mansour]: “The expulsion of the NGOs for us is a crisis, these are big projects, building schools and supporting it, building hospitals and supplying medicine, drilling bore holes, all these are being done by the NGOs. Expelling them means that all these activities will collapse. This decision came out of frustration and from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun. It is not a presidential decision as people are saying, because the SPLM chairman and the Vice-President were not consulted. This is wrong and we refuse it. This decision is like a punishment to Darfur and the citizens of Sudan.”

Following the arrest warrant issued against President al-Bashir by the ICC, the Government of National Unity expelled 13 international humanitarian organizations from Sudan. The government accused the NGOs of providing information to the International Criminal Court.
- - -

17 March - (Bentiu) – The SPLM secretary in Unity state is calling for a reshuffle of leaders in the party.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service by phone from Bentiu, the SPLM state secretary for political affairs, Thomas Wijial Chiop, said his party has failed to deliver services to civilians in the state because of poor leadership and power struggles within the party.

Wijial said that if the party does not reshuffle, the SPLM will not attract any supporters during the election campaign which is starting next month.

He said that for SPLM to remain popular, new leaders need to be elected.

He also added that the reconciliation efforts between the SPLM chairman in the state, Dr. Nguen Manytueil, and the governor of Unity state, Taban Deng, is a positive move towards winning supporters.
Note, in the second to last report, the deputy speaker of South Kordofan state parliament, Siddiq Mansour told Sudan Radio Service by phone from Kadugli that the SPLM was not consulted on the expulsion of the NGOs:
[Siddiq Mansour]: “The expulsion of the NGOs for us is a crisis, these are big projects, building schools and supporting it, building hospitals and supplying medicine, drilling bore holes, all these are being done by the NGOs. Expelling them means that all these activities will collapse. This decision came out of frustration and from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun. It is not a presidential decision as people are saying, because the SPLM chairman and the Vice-President were not consulted. This is wrong and we refuse it. This decision is like a punishment to Darfur and the citizens of Sudan.”
And the top report quotes Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir as saying:
“We have authorized the Humanitarian Aid Commission to let Sudanese organizations provide humanitarian work in a year’s time. I do not like to have any foreign organizations dealing with Sudanese citizens. Whoever wants to bring relief should hand it over at the airport or at the port, the national NGOs will be the ones to deal with the citizens. They will be the ones to serve their citizens because they know their behavior. They will not change the citizens, that is why we must take full control of our country and purify it from the influence of spies, cowards and traitors who are making business in our name.”
[...]
“We have expelled their organizations which were tools of neo-colonialism, they were spies, they used to fabricate reports and they used to instigate IDPs and confuse them, misleading visitors who visited the camps and they prepared witnesses and forced them memorize what to say and they were sent to The Hague to testify, to testify against who? And who will go to The Hague to be judged by cowards and traitors hired by the ICC intelligence?”
So, to some Sudanese citizens, it looks like It is not a presidential decision as people are saying, because the SPLM chairman and the Vice-President were not consulted. Is this true? Was the Government of southern Sudan not notified beforehand? More news on this issue later, if and when I find it.

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