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Sudan to further restrict work of foreign aid groups including UN agencies: official

August 21, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government is introducing new measures governing activities of the foreign humanitarian groups including United Nations agencies and will only allow national organizations to be working in the field of human rights.

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UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos talks with a displaced woman during her visit to Zam Zam camp for IDPs in North Darfur state on May 21, 2013 (photo by Albert González Farran UNAMID)

The Sudanese interior minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid told state news agency (SUNA) following a meeting on Wednesday which brought together included president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, Justice Minister Mohamed Bushara Dousa, Director of intelligence Mohamed Atta and the state’s minister at the foreign ministry Salah Wansi, that the meeting came up with new rules governing for the work of foreign relief organizations.

Hamid added that the meeting put forward detailed procedures for the work of foreign humanitarian groups in the capital Khartoum and the regions, ensuring that it is in line with government policies and strategy.

The interior minister stressed that this move would mitigate potential disputes between these foreign groups and the government, revealing that the new measures will be carried out by committees in the various ministries.

Khartoum has long been uncomfortable with presence of foreign aid groups accusing it of exaggerating the magnitude of the conflicts in the country , disseminating false information and even spying.

In March 2009 Sudan carried out an en masse expulsion right after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for president Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

The Sudanese government still refuses to grant international humanitarian groups access to rebel-held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.