The government of Sudan, based in Khartoum, and under the rule of Pres. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has expelled more than a dozen international aid organizations from the country, charging that their activities in Darfur helped agents for the International Criminal Court (ICC) develop their war crimes case against Bashir. Bashir has been indicted on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, and a fierce crack-down on dissent, press and international visitors, has been underway since.
One source, who wished to remain anonymous for reasons of personal safety, said there is increasing volume of calls and messages coming from aid workers in Darfur, saying they are afraid and the situation is deteriorating rapidly. While the government has pledged that local aid workers and UN agencies will fill the gap left by the departing NGOs, those expelled represent as much as half the aid, in the world’s largest humanitarian aid project.
The expulsion of organizations that provided clean water, medical treatment, food and shelter for millions of Sudanese in the war-racked region of Darfur has thrown the world’s largest aid operation into disarray, putting the lives of millions of displaced people at risk.