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CORRECTED: Sudanese parliament calls on government to rescind suspension of ICRC

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February 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s national assembly urged the government today to revoke the decision taken by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) to suspend the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) taken earlier this month.

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ICRC trucks arrive carrying food, seeds and farming tools to be distributed to families in and around Jebel Marra (Photo: ICRC)

Mohamed Ahmed wad al-Fadl, the deputy chairman of the emergency committee set up by the parliament to follow up on the issue, said in remarks after a meeting with the ICRC that the latter handed him relevant documents.

He further expressed hope that ICRC can continue to work in Sudan.

From his part, the spokesperson of the ICRC office in Khartoum Rafiullah Qureshi told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese “parliamentarians were informed that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has proposed to the government of Sudan’s Permanent Mission in Geneva, that the suspension be lifted allowing for ICRC’s humanitarian work to resume”.

While in the meantime a six months timeframe has also been suggested to continue dialogue, which should settle the issues that have been cited by the Humanitarian Affairs Commission as reasons for suspension.

The ICRC warned that moving to tighten procedures to suspend the activity of the organization will reflect negatively on the services provided to Sudanese citizens.

Sudan said its decision was prompted by lack of ICRC’s compliance with the country’s laws and regulations.

Among these rules is placing the ICRC budget and funds at the disposal of the Sudanese Red Crescent and not to undertake any activity on the ground before informing Sudanese authorities about its nature and timing.

The ICRC began working in Sudan in 1978 according to its website. The organization says it is helping people affected by the conflict in Darfur, providing seed, tools, food and water and re-establishing contact between people separated by the fighting.

The ICRC also promotes international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians affected by the conflict.

(ST)

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