Last Updated: Fri Jun 01, 2012 13:22 pm (KSA) 10:22 am (GMT)

Sudan expels four humanitarian groups after ‘failed aid projects’

A girl holds up a handwritten banner as she waits for the arrival of a African Union - United Nations Missions in Darfur (UNAMID) delegation in Forog, north Darfur. (Reuters)
A girl holds up a handwritten banner as she waits for the arrival of a African Union - United Nations Missions in Darfur (UNAMID) delegation in Forog, north Darfur. (Reuters)

Sudan has expelled four foreign aid groups working in the country's east, a source at the government's Humanitarian Affairs Commission told AFP on Friday.

“HAC decided to expel four international NGOs working in eastern Sudan because they failed in their planned projects,” said the source, asking not to be named.

“Also, there is a weakness in these international NGOs,” the source added without elaborating.

He identified the groups as Save the Children Sweden, GOAL of Ireland, a Japanese humanitarian group and another Irish organization.

“There's been no explanation for this,” said a diplomatic source, who clarified that the government is only seeking to cancel the aid groups' activities in eastern Sudan, not in the rest of the country.

The source, asking for anonymity, confirmed that GOAL and Save the Children Sweden were among those affected.

A foreign aid source said his group is among several notified that the government wishes them to stop work in the country's east.

“That is correct. We received a letter” on Thursday,” he said.

In 2009 Sudan expelled several foreign humanitarian organizations after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for President Omar al-Basir’s arrest on charges of masterminding war crimes in Darfur. Sudan accused the aid groups of helping build the charges against Bashir.

Some 4.7 million people rely on humanitarian aid in Darfur. The U.N.'s NGO partners gave out food aid, monitored for disease outbreaks and provided clean water and health care across the area which is roughly the size of France.

Sudan has said Sudanese groups have been filling the gaps left by the expelled groups and there is no problem with aid distribution.

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