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Sudan eases restrictions on movement of humanitarian workers

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December 25, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) on Sunday said it has approved new guidelines for the movement of humanitarian workers within the country.

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Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam (ST Photo)

According to the new guidelines, aid workers will only need to get permission for movement within high risk areas while they could go to other areas after notifying the authorities two business days ahead of their intended travel.

HAC commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam told Sudan Tribune that the new guidelines aim to reduce restrictions on the movement of aid workers, saying they no longer need to obtain prior permissions to get access to safe areas.

He said the move comes against the background of the remarkable security and stability achieved in all parts of the country, pointing the new guidelines would facilitate movement of foreign investors and tourists who are expected to pour into the country in the coming period.

Adam added that the move aims to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid and enhance the process of transition from relief to reconstruction which requires promoting relations with partners and simplifying procedures.

The Sudanese official further expressed hope that the move would enhance efforts to reach a joint humanitarian response to achieve the desired goals, calling upon all relevant actors to adhere to these new guidelines.

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

Since, the activities of foreign aid group in Darfur are strictly controlled and more organizations were evicted through the years.

Sudan refuses to allow new aid groups to work in the region.

The government also banned the access of foreign groups to the rebel-held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile as well as the establishment of camps for the displaced civilians, stressing the experience of Darfur camps should not be repeated in the two states.

(ST

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