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Sudan's Foreign Minister regrets expulsion of aid groups

November 28 - 2013 KHARTOUM

Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Karti has expressed regret over the decision to expel international aid organisations from Darfur in 2009, saying it was “wrong”.

Speaking to the Sudanese Parliament in Khartoum yesterday, Karti said: “These humanitarian groups should have been contained and put to optimal use rather than having them ejected from the country thus harming Sudan’s relations with the international community.”

Karti accused “certain circles within the government of undermining the work of his ministry,” Sudan Tribune reports. He was referring to Sudan’s 2009 decision to expel more than a dozen aid agencies in response to the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant issued for President Omar Al Bashir, who is accused of war crimes including genocide.

The affected aid agencies were delivering the bulk of international support to Darfur with 6,500 international and local aid workers employed in the region. Sudan announced in 2009 that relief in Darfur would continue from their own funds. However, the economic collapse of the country and the delays in the implementation of the Doha peace agreement meant very little aid work was actually funded by the government.

Related: UN: aid capacity not fully recovered since Bashir expelled NGOs (31 May 2010)

File photo: Ali Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan (by UN)

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