- The Khartoum government has rejected reports alleging that is has allowed four aid agencies expelled in March to return to the war torn Darfur region.
The rejection follows the announcement by the UN's humanitarian chief, John Holmes, in New York yesterday, that the Sudanese government has authorised four aid agencies to work in Darfur, but under new names and logos.
The Sudanese envoy at the UN, Abdel-Mahmood Abdel-Haleem, said all the aid agencies expelled in March are not being allowed to operate in Sudan, but said for organisations willing to apply afresh, credentials will be checked and a decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Sudan Tribune, the Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson, Ali Al-Sadiq, told the official news agency (SUNA) that none of the evicted groups will return.
Mr Holmes had said in a statement there was possibility that all the organisations which were expelled would be allowed back, saying some of them already have taken advantage, and had applied for new registrations.
“Four have already applied for new registration under their slightly changed new names and they have been accepted. I think the same possibility is open to others,” he said.
In March, the Sudanese government expelled 17 non-governmental organisations from the country after an arrest warrant was issued for President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur.
The organisations were accused of feeding the International court false accounts on the Darfur crisis.
Some 4.7 million people rely on humanitarian aid in Darfur, while more than 2.7 million people reside in refugee camps after the violence drove them from their homes.
Sudan has vowed not to allow any of the expelled groups to return and Mr Bashir has announced that local aid groups would take over in a year’s time.
The Darfur conflict started in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government complaining of discrimination and neglect in the Darfur region. The six year conflict in Sudan has killed more than 300,000 people with more others displaced.
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