Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sudanese minister says GONU will do more to protect NGOs

Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 17 December 2009:
State Minister Says GONU Will Do More To Protect NGO Staff
(Khartoum) – The Government of National Unity has acknowledged the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

Speaking after his visit to European countries on Tuesday, the State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani said that there are humanitarian needs in Darfur and southern Sudan that have to be resolved.

[Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani]: “If we say we don’t have a problem, we are lying to you. We have problems in Darfur; we have problems in southern Sudan and with the CPA. We do have problems with the CPA. They don’t talk of the 80 percent that has been implemented, what they talk about is the 20 percent of the CPA which has not been implemented. Why are we not concentrating on the eighty percent of the CPA which is already implemented? There are some areas that are disputed, let us deal with these and concentrate on them. But always they are focusing on the non-implementation of democratic transformation as if the whole of the CPA is connected with two or three laws. Now people have sat down and resolved them, it means that we need to concentrate on the positive issues.”

Al-Geilani added that there is no war in Darfur and he blamed armed bandits for being responsible for threatening humanitarian operations in the region.

[Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani]: “There is no war in Darfur, there are some bandits threatening humanitarian operations, because they target humanitarian workers. This indirectly affects the humanitarian operations. We said that the Sudanese government has solutions to these problems. Firstly we must provide security for the staff and offices of humanitarian organizations; we must give them some kind of protection. They refused this idea because they thought it might damage their credibility and their independence. As you heard, two aid workers were released after 107 days. This shows that the mechanisms which we have begun to put in place are functioning.”

Last month, al-Geilani visited Morocco, Britain, Ireland and Columbia to attend conferences on humanitarian issues in these countries and to discuss ways of resolving the Darfur conflict.

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