SUDAN WATCH: SUDAN: Other NGOs ready to move into Darfur - official

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SUDAN: Other NGOs ready to move into Darfur - official

The Sudanese government says other aid agencies are ready to step in to help the Darfur IDPs. The applicants include the Red Crescent Societies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Several doctors and medical supplies were also being sent to Darfur.

Sudanese government and UN officials were to travel on 11 March to Darfur for a week to assess the impact of the expulsion of aid agencies.

See report here below.

Darfur refugees in camp near NE  C.A.R. town Sam Quandja

Photo: More than 3,000 refugees from the western Sudanese region of Darfur live in a camp near the northeastern Central African Republic town of Sam Ouandja © UNICEF/CAR/2008/Pierre Holtz

March 12, 2009 report from IRIN - excerpt:
SUDAN: Other NGOs ready to move into Darfur - official
KHARTOUM, 12 March 2009 (IRIN) - Several relief organisations from Arab and Asian countries have applied to work in the western Sudanese Darfur region to replace agencies expelled or stopped from working there, a senior official said.

"We have received many applications from Arab and Asian countries," Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun, said. "They want to go to Darfur."

The applicants include the Red Crescent Societies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Several doctors and medical supplies were also being sent to Darfur.

Discussing Sudan’s plans to replace the organisations expelled after the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants against President Omar el-Bashir on 4 March, Haroun said: "We have already begun the process."

Government confident


Darfur is baking hot for much of the year, but the upcoming rainy season will put extra pressure on already vulnerable communities, aid workers say.

According to the UN, Sudan does not have the ability to carry out the work of the expelled agencies.

However, said Haroun: "The assessment is not true, there is no evidence to support it on the ground."


Haroun is himself a war crimes suspect. A warrant was issued by the ICC in April 2007, detailing 51 charges of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004.

"The UN is not in a position to order or advise Sudan. They should just deal with the new situation on the ground."

Needs assessment

Sudanese government and UN officials were to travel on 11 March to Darfur for a week to assess the impact of the expulsion of aid agencies.

The assessment would be crucial in establishing how the country intends to address the key needs of some 2.7 million people displaced in Darfur. It would also provide some measure of the scale of the crisis and cover all three Darfur states.

"Three joint UN-government teams composed of experts from both sides will visit Darfur to conduct an assessment of critical short-term needs," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said.

The Sudanese order to 13 international and three local NGOs to stop work is expected to leave an estimated 1.1 million people, especially in Darfur, without food; 1.5 million without healthcare and more than a million without drinking water.

The 16 agencies, according to OCHA, employed nearly 40 percent of the aid workers in Darfur – 6,500 national and international workers. In total, 7,610 humanitarian staff are affected in northern Sudan, including Darfur.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it had lost 35 percent of its food distribution capacity through the expulsion of four of its implementing partners - Save the Children USA, Action Against Hunger, Solidarités and Care International.

"WFP does not have the capacity to fill this gap," said spokeswoman Emilia Casella. "Unless the NGOs are allowed to resume their activities, people are going to go hungry." [...] str/eo/mw

A UNAMID peacekeeper in Dali village, N Darfur

Photo: A UNAMID peacekeeper stands guard during a patrol through Dali village in North Darfur. September 2008. © Heba Aly/IRIN
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Message from Darfur rebel group leader in Paris, France

Via Twitter/AndrewHeavens 9/3/09 11:56:
Darfur rebel Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur wants me to pass on his greetings to "all the women in the world" on their day
http://bit.ly/159KP
Andrew Heavens is a British journalist based in Khartoum. He writes for Reuters and his blog www.meskelsquare.com
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Russia ready to consider humanitarian aid to Darfur
Article from Sudan Tribune Thursday 12 March 2009 - excerpt:
March 11, 2009 (MOSCOW) – The special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov said Wednesday that Russia is ready to mull sending medical and food assistance to Sudan to "prevent a humanitarian catastrophe" in Darfur following the expulsion of 13 aid groups from the region.

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