See also:
» 09.06.2010 - "Oil consortium behind Sudan war crimes"
» 14.05.2010 - Nile water resource dispute splits region
» 26.02.2010 - Darfur mission receives helicopters
» 05.01.2010 - Sudanese security trainings wrapped-up
» 04.01.2010 - Ireland announces additional funding for hunger in Sudan
» 16.10.2009 - Arrest Al Bashir - ICC
» 14.10.2009 - Dafur sanctions' monitoring mandate expanded
» 07.09.2009 - Fresh talks expected next month in Sudan

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US sends off envoy to Sudan

afrol News, 1 April - The US State Department has dispatched a special envoy for Sudan, Scott Gration to assess the humanitarian crisis in Darfur region and to persuade Khartoum government to reconsider its decision of expelling aid agencies.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 4 March for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, ordered 13 international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) out, accusing them of feeding the ICC false information.

The State Department statement said the special envoy will meet with a wide range of interlocutors, particularly those who are empowered to make policy decisions that can try and put Sudan on the path to peace.

US President Barrack Obama said mechanisms have to be put in place to get those NGOs back in place and to convince President Al Bashir to reverse his decision, saying aid agencies are critical in averting the worsening humanitarian crisis.

"Sudan is a priority for this administration, particularly at a time when it cries out for peace and for justice," President Obama said in a statement.

The envoy’s trip to Sudan will also take him to western Darfur, southern city of Juba, and oil town of Abyei before returning to Khartoum for meetings with government officials, the US statement said.

The ICC seeks to prosecute Bashir for his government's alleged targeting of civilians during its 2003-2008 campaign against rebel groups in Sudan's western Darfur region.

At least 300,000 people have been killed by military forces and government-backed militias in the conflict and 2.7 million others have been driven from their homes, according to the United Nations. However, the Khartoum administration said only 10, 000 people have been killed in the past six year.

Since his indictment President Al Bashir has defied the ICC arrest warrant by traveling to Eritrea, Libya, Egypt and Qatar among others, where he arrived on 30 March to attend an Arab League summit in Doha.

The Obama administration has lashed the 22 nations' decision to express support for Mr Al Bashir as inappropriate under the circumstances, and said that the Arab leaders should work to convince the Sudanese leader to reverse his ban on the aid workers.

The Darfur conflict started in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government complaining of discrimination and neglect.

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