- The UN has said the expulsion of humanitarian and human rights agencies has been a major set back in the delivery of humanitarian aid and peacekeeping efforts in the war torn Sudanese Darfur region.
The UN Secretary-General Ban K-moon said the decision to fire international humanitarian aid agencies was negative and detrimental to ordinary lives of civilians in the troubled Sudanese region.
The Sudanese President Omar Albashir expelled more than 13 aid agencies in Darfur early March following his indictment by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the six year conflict in Darfur since 2006. He accused the agencies of giving the court false accounts on Darfur crisis that led to his indictment.
“While joint United Nations-Government of the Sudan efforts can address some of the most critical gaps in aid delivery in the coming weeks, the cumulative effects over time of the removal of such a large amount of humanitarian capacity puts well over 1 million people at life-threatening risk,” Mr Ban said in his latest report to the Security Council.
He said as rainy season begins in Sudan in May, the crisis would deepen, leaving thousands vulnerable to diseases and hunger.
The Secretary-General called on authorities to urgently re-establish an atmosphere of trust and mutual confidence with the humanitarian community, stressing the importance of cooperation to fill the most immediate gaps.
Late last month, the UN Security Council pleaded with president Al Bashir to reconsider his decision reiterating the importance of continuing the peace process in Darfur region.
According to the UN, the expelled aid organisations worked with more than 4.7 million Sudanese, including 2.7 million in refugee camps.
“A significant disruption in the provision of humanitarian assistance will almost certainly lead to a serious heightening of tensions among refugees in camps, particularly in the larger camps for the displaced,” Mr Ban said in the report.
He also raised concern over continued insecurity including clashes between government forces and armed groups in the country with the recurrence of tribal fighting and the build-up of troops along the Chad-Sudan border.
The UN has said that the effects of the expulsions were already being felt, with feeding for malnourished children not taking place and un-serviced water pumps likely to break down.
The United Nations estimates that about 300,000 people have died in Darfur since 2003 when Darfuris took up arms against the government, accusing of neglect by the Arab-dominated Khartoum government. More than 2.7 million have been displaced.
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