June 3, 2012

Beja Congress deplores explusion of aid agencies

The Beja Congress has responded to the federal government of Sudan. Seven NGOs have been told to stop work in east Sudan for 30 days, as reported yesterday on the blog.

Here is the Press Release from the Beja Congress as found on sudan eyes. Originally available at Sudanese online .

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The so called Humanitarian Aid Office (HAO) in Khartoum announced the expulsion of seven humanitarian aid organizations from eastern Sudan, claiming their violation of the obligations of voluntary work. These includes Save the Children of Sweden, the Irish GOAL, Accord and NATs Roche and the Japanese Plan Sudan.

The HAO has threatened that the government would not tolerate any slip of the organizations to the security laws.

This is not the first time that the authority expels humanitarian organizations from rural areas of the East, it has already expelled all aid organizations in its early years of its seizure of power in 1989, and during and after the war of liberation.

But under strong pressure from the international community, the government allowed the return of these organization. It is known that these aid organizations work to provide primary health care and the provision of food aid in the far remote rural areas, where there is no trace of any governmental care.

These organizations submit their reports regularly to the authorities, as agreed upon.

But the reports indicate that the humanitarian suffering continues to increase. Diseases like TB, anaemia, malnutrition and diarrhea are rising, which results in the increase of mortality, especially among children and women.

The decision to expel humanitarian aid organizations from the states of the East, is highly irresponsible, and would result in the increase in humanitarian sufferings in the remote areas of eastern Sudan, which are particularly impoverished, poor and underdeveloped.

The government is not even putting in consideration to access these regions for inspection, not speak of development. They are beyond its scope of horizon.

The expulsion of the aid organizations that only operate in eastern Sudan, where they are dearly needed, amounts to genocide through starvation.

Beja Congress deplores and strongly condemns their expulsion and calls upon all the activists in the health services, clergy, community leaders, students and all youth organizations and members of political organizations to enforce the return of these humanitarian organizations.

Beja Congress appeals appeals to the international community and especially to the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Organization of African Unity and all democratic organizations to exercise the necessary pressure on the government of Sudan to allow the return back of these organizations.


Dr Abu Amna
Beja Congress leadership

Alternate source of press release on Sunday, June 3, 2012, at https://www.facebook.com/BejaCongressUK

The BBC article linked above reads, in part:

At least four aid organisations have been banned from working in the deeply impoverished eastern region of Sudan, sources have told the BBC.

An official at the Humanitarian Affairs Commission (HAC), who asked not to be named, told AFP the non-governmental organisations being told to stop working in the east were Save the Children Sweden, GOAL of Ireland, a Japanese humanitarian group and another Irish organisation.

"The HAC decided to expel four international NGOs working in eastern Sudan because they failed in their planned projects," the HAC source told AFP.
The head of one of the organisations concerned told the BBC he was intending to appeal against the decision.

An unnamed Sudanese official told the AFP news agency the aid groups had "failed in their planned projects".

A BBC reporter says Sudan has in the past restricted the work of foreign humanitarian agencies, accusing them of working to destabilise the country.

Fears of fresh rebellion
The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says eastern Sudan is a particularly sensitive subject for the Sudanese government at the moment because there are fears that a rebellion could break out again. The area is made up of Red Sea, Gedaraf and Kassala states. But the region is particularly poor and underdeveloped region.

In 2010, donors and investors pledged more than $3.5bn (£2.2bn) to eastern Sudan at a conference in Kuwait - but frustration is growing because many of its people say they have not seen the benefits of that pledge or the peace deal, our correspondent says.

The activities of the aid groups elsewhere in Sudan have reportedly not been restricted.

In 2009 President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, in the west of the country.

The next day 13 aid organisations were expelled from the country. Senior Sudanese officials often accuse aid workers of collaborating with the ICC, and unnamed "foreign powers", our correspondent says.

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