Monday, August 16, 2010

Five United Nations Employees Expelled From Sudan

Five UN workers expelled from Darfur

By Opheera McDoom

Khartoum - Sudan has expelled five United Nations and ICRC workers from West Darfur state, a UN official said, in the latest confrontation with international organisations in a region with the world's largest aid operation.

The UN-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping mission also announced on Monday that a trench is being built around Nyala, the troubled region's biggest town, to help prevent kidnappings of peacekeepers and aid workers.

On Saturday two Jordanian UNAMID police were abducted and a US woman from the Samaritan's Purse charity was taken three months ago.

Sudan's relationship with foreign aid agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and UNAMID, has been tense, with expulsions and obstruction often the reward for those reporting on rights abuses during the seven-year rebellion.

After the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur last year, he expelled 13 aid organisations. Khartoum says they gave the ICC evidence concerning Darfur.

"The heads of the UNHCR (UN refugee agency) and FAO (Food and Agriculture) agencies in West Darfur as well as the head of UNHCR agency in Zalengei have been asked to leave," Abdallah al-Fadil, head of UNAMID in West Darfur, told Reuters on Monday.

"The government also informed me that it had asked both the ICRC's heads of delegation in el-Geneina and Zalengei (town) to leave too," he added.

The ICRC said its staff had been "recalled with the agreement of authorities" and added that its operations continued as normal in West Darfur. Fadil said it was not clear why the authorities had told the staff to leave, only that they had made mistakes "beyond their mandate". - Reuters

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh Darfur, It's so difficult for me to even think about what's going on there. I just watched this movie called Attack on Darfur, and wow, very very intense. It was really graphic and emotionally heart breaking. I did some research afterwards to see how accurate it was and apparently some the actors were real victims form Darfur that were reenacting their rapes. It's hard to watch, but I hope as many people as possible see this so that they know just horrible what's going on there.