Home | News    Tuesday 28 August 2007

Sudan accuses expelled US aid agency chief of espionage

By Wasil Ali

August 27, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities accused the head of CARE International’s operations in Sudan of “espionage activities” during his tenure.

An unidentified Sudanese official speaking to Al-Sahafa daily said that Paul Barker was under surveillance by security services “for quite some time”

Barker was expelled Monday after a year of directing one of the biggest private aid efforts in the Darfur region.

An official from Sudan’s ministry of Humanitarian affairs visited Barker on Saturday and notified him that his work permit renewal request was denied by the highest level of government.

The official told Barker that a senior Sudanese security figure was behind the decision without naming him.

Barker is the third Westerner to be kicked out of Sudan since Thursday when European Commission envoy Kent Degerfelt and Canadian charge d’affaires Nuala Lawlor were declared persona non grata.

Degerfelt was invited to return on Saturday following an apology by European development commissioner Louis Michel to Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

The Sudanese official speaking to Al-Sahafa said that Barker was “fabricating reports on the security situation in Darfur”.

“His expulsion decision is final and irreversible” he added.

Last year Sudan expelled Jan Pronk, the UN Secretary General special representative to Sudan for what they described as “exceeding his mandate”.

(ST)