Sudan Orders Aid Groups to Stop Distributing Relief

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Khartoum, April 17 – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Monday he had ordered that all international aid groups should stop distributing relief inside Sudan within a year.

“We have ordered the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to completely Sudanise the voluntary work in Sudan within one year and after that no international organisations will distribute relief to Sudanese citizens,” Bashir told a rally of armed forces.

“They (the international organisations) can just leave their food aid at the airport and Sudanese NGOs can distribute the relief.”

Tension has risen in Sudan after the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided earlier this month to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir over accusations of war crimes in Darfur.

Sudan reacted by shutting down 16 aid organisations, saying they had helped the international court in the Hague, an accusation aid groups deny.

International experts say almost six years of fighting in Darfur has killed 200,000 and uprooted more than 2.7 million. Khartoum says 10,000 have died.

(source ANTARA/Reuters)

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