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Posts Tagged ‘Aid group expulsion’

BBC, March 22 09

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has accused Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir of “exterminating” refugees by expelling international aid agencies.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that by blocking aid the president was attacking the civilians in the giant camps that dot Darfur. He called for President Bashir to be arrested as soon as he leaves Sudan. The president is due to attend this month’s Arab League summit in Qatar.

Speaking to the BBC’s Network Africa, Mr Moreno-Ocampo said that by expelling the international aid agencies the president was “confirming that he is exterminating his people”.

Arab League summit

Mr Moreno-Ocampo said that he would work for the arrest of President Bashir as soon as he leaves Sudan.

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UNITED NATIONS — The humanitarian situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate in the wake of Sudan’s decision to expel major foreign aid organizations from the country, a top United Nations official told the Security Council on Friday, with a majority of Council members sharply criticizing Khartoum for refusing to reverse its edict.

Critical areas of concern in Darfur include distribution of adequate food, water and medical care, as well as the safety of United Nations personnel and humanitarian workers who have been subject to stepped-up attacks, said the official, Rashid Khalikov, the director in New York for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“Our ability to help the people of Darfur and northern Sudan has been seriously compromised,” he said. “The current atmosphere of fear and uncertainty facing all aid organizations is affecting the assistance available to the people of Darfur.”

Western ambassadors uniformly criticized Sudan for its decision to expel 13 foreign aid organizations and close three local ones, which the country did after the International Criminal Court in The Hague announced more than two weeks ago that it was indicting President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on war crimes charges.

Expressions of concern about the fate of about four million civilians in Darfur were universal from all 15 members of the Council. Even friends and neighbors of Sudan, like China, Uganda and Libya, which support a deferral of the court’s indictment, expressed concern about the impact of the expulsions.

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Associated Press, 21 March 2009

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s expulsion of 13 foreign aid groups from Darfur proves that the International Criminal Court was right to pursue him on war crimes charges, the court’s chief prosecutor said Friday.

The Netherlands-based court granted earlier this month Moreno-Ocampo’s request for a warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western Darfur region. His Arab-led government has been battling ethnic African rebels there since 2003 and he has been accused of orchestrating atrocities against civilians.

“This idea to expel the humanitarians is confirming the court decision,” Luis Moreno-Ocampo said during brief comments to reporters after the UN Security Council met to receive an updated assessment on the Darfur crisis. “Expelling them is confirming the crimes.”

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