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IDPs fear “Sudanization” of humanitarian work in Darfur

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December 25, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in South Darfur state have expressed concern over Humanitarian Aid Commission’s (HAC) intentions of “Sudanization” of humanitarian work in their state at the expense of foreign aid groups.

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A group of women build a shelter in Kalma camp for internally displaced people in South Darfur on 9 March 2014 (Photo: UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

The deputy secretary general of IDPs and refugees in Darfur, Adam Abdalla Gamhouri, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that IDPs categorically reject HAC’s plan to expel foreign aid groups which continued to provide humanitarian assistance and basic services for them during the last ten years.

He argued the move aims to starve IDPs and empty their camps and endanger their lives, saying the national aid groups don’t have any capabilities to provide assistance.

Adam added that HAC always sought to empty the camps by any means, saying its personnel have not been able to enter some camps particularly the Kalma camp for ten years because IDPs don’t have confidence in HAC and national aid groups.

He pointed that several national aid groups belong to the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

The government sponsored Sudan Media Centre (SMC) website said on Wednesday that South Darfur state has embarked on procedures to determine the number of foreign aid groups working in the state in preparation to replace them with national aid groups as of early next year.

SMC quoted South Darfur state’s humanitarian commissioner, Jamal Youssef, as saying they instructed the national aid groups to cover 50% of the food shortage among IDPs following the World Food Program’s (WFP) move to decrease its assistance by 30%.

He pointed that HAC has gone a long way in identifying and registering foreign aid groups in the state in preparation for the “Sudanization” of the aid work in the state, saying the latter made significant efforts to provide the necessary aid to meet the needs of the returnees.

Immediately after the first arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan’s president Omer Al-Bashir in March 2009, Sudan also expelled 13 aid groups from Darfur accusing it of collaborating with the war crime courts.

Since then, the Sudanese government intensified its crackdown on foreign aid agencies.

(ST)

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