• No_Ads
World
Red Cross 'ordered to suspend' Sudan workPublish Date: Feb 01, 2014
Red Cross 'ordered to suspend' Sudan work
  • mail
  • img
A picture taken on April 25, 2012 shows Sudanese prisoners of war boarding International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicles following their release in South Sudans capital Juba. PHOTO/AFP
newvision

KHARTOUM - Sudanese authorities have ordered the Red Cross to suspend its activities, the organisation said Saturday, in the latest restriction to be placed on foreign aid workers in the war-ravaged country.

"We have received an official letter from the HAC (Humanitarian Aid Commission) informing us to suspend our activities with effect from today," Rafiullah Qureshi, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan, told AFP.

"Our activities are suspended."

He said HAC cited "some technical issues" related to work which ICRC hoped to undertake this year in the country.

As a neutral intermediary, the Red Cross has facilitated the handover and repatriation of numerous prisoners held by armed groups in the country's war-torn Darfur region.

The agency has also provided health services, food aid, seeds, tools, hand pumps and other assistance which helped more than 1.5 million people in restive parts of the country last year, Qureshi said.

Although its projects are suspended, the ICRC's roughly 700 local and international staff will still go to their offices while discussions take place "in coming days" with the foreign ministry, HAC and other government agencies, he said.

The aim is "to resume our activities as soon as possible in favour of the victims of armed conflict."

HAC's registrar general, Mohammed Fadlallah, told AFP he had no idea about the case and referred inquiries to HAC Commissioner Suleiman Abdel Rahman, who could not immediately be reached.

Sudanese officials have repeatedly expressed their wish to cooperate with international agencies.

However, access has been restricted to the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where rebellions began more than two years ago and where the United Nations says more than one million people have been displaced or severely affected.

There has been no aid access to rebel-held areas of the two states since 2011.

In 2012 the HAC expelled seven international non-governmental organisations from impoverished eastern Sudan, arguing that some projects were badly managed, of poor quality and too costly.

Also that year, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it had been forced to suspend medical activities in a part of North Darfur due to restrictions imposed on its work there.

In 2009 Sudan revoked the licences of 13 international aid groups working in Darfur shortly after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant against President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes.

Qureshi said ICRC work in Sudan had previously been suspended in the 1990s.

The suspension of ICRC comes days after Bashir appealed for a "renaissance" in his country, which is ravaged by war, poverty and political turmoil.

In a speech which did not reveal detailed initiatives, he said peace is his top priority and "freedom of people" must be respected.

Half of Sudan's 19 states are affected by conflict and 6.1 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance, the United Nations has said.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Hundreds still missing in South Korea ferry disaster
The frantic search for nearly 300 people, most of them schoolchildren, missing after a South Korean ferry capsized slipped into a second day Thursday, as distraught relatives maintained an agonised vigil on shore....
Kidnapped Nigeria girls taken to Islamist stronghold
THE Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram were taken to a stronghold of the Islamist group, parents said as the military confirmed that 129 students had been abducted...
Putin warns Ukraine on brink of civil war as Kiev sends army in
Russian leader Vladimir Putin warns that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, the Kremlin said Wednesday, after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country....
Lawyers: Pistorius Did Himself No Favours In The Dock
Oscar Pistorius did himself more harm than good when he took the witness stand, say South African lawyers....
Gunmen shoot Belgian head of Virunga National Park
Unidentified armed men on Tuesday critically wounded the Belgian head of Africa's oldest wildlife reserve, the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said....
S. Korea ferry with 450 passengers sinks
South Korean coastguard vessels and helicopters pulled passengers off a stricken ferry as it sank off the southern coast with around 450 passengers on board....
Is the return of Buganda Properties a sign of good Governance?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter