Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sudan: Sudan 'protects and welcomes aid groups'

Source: Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
Republished for information and discussion only. This report does not necessarily reflect the views of Mike Hitchen Consulting - mainly because it's a load of old cobblers.

The following release was issued today by the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan:

Sudan acknowledges the expulsion of some 13 organizations operating under the guise of Humanitarian Aid groups. A lot of fuss has been made of the security measure we've taken, particularly by those interested in distorting reality. These reports have conveniently omitted the fact that there are over 150 foreign groups in the country currently delivering humanitarian services. In addition to this number is a staggering 2,600 Sudanese aid groups already doing the same work. And every last one of these groups is charged with a specific mandate that has clear guidelines for operating, violation of which will result in jeopardizing the mission.

It is simply misleading and a complete fallacy to claim that Sudan is capriciously expelling Aid workers. We, more than any other, recognize the essential nature of the services provided by humanitarian groups. Their role, in easing the suffering and alleviating the immense stress imposed on our citizens at times of crises is greatly valued. Their presence is vastly appreciated by Sudanese all across the country where their vital services have made tremendous impact earning them deep gratitude. The Government has pledged full protection of these crucial institutions and welcomes any others that genuinely want to help.

However, not all of these entities that appear in this noble outfit are there to do for the people. As such, Sudan will exercise its right to expel any agencies that exceed their mandate and violate terms of operation. This expulsion is not arbitrary, as some are claiming. Nor is it targeting just foreigners. It is worth noting that 3 out of the 13 recently reprimanded were Sudanese organizations that are as guilty of violating their mandates as their foreign counterparts. Another 3 belong to the United States, which boasts a decent 19 groups in Sudan. This is certainly not the first time Sudan has expelled such entities and definitely won't be its last if violations continue. There were those expelled for going out of mission parameters and engaging in political activities. Another case that is widely known of is the group that was abducting children from Darfur. As of recent, some were collaborating with the International Criminal Court while others carried out subversive missions throughout the country. Sudan, like any other sovereign State, will not hesitate to reprimand anyone guilty of such serious misconduct.

Sudan will be circumspect in ensuring that threats to the national security are swiftly dealt with even if it means disciplining the groups that violate their terms. The countless remaining groups are fully capable of carrying out their functions and the government will fill any gaps the expelled may leave behind. We reaffirm our commitment to protecting all entities in Sudan and urge humanitarian groups to make this task easy by respecting their missions.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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