Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Sudan / Darfur

INTERVIEW - Violence, Abductions Could Impact Darfur Crisis - UN
By Opheera McDoom
Reuters dispatch in The Star, May 30, 2010
"Darfur's humanitarian crisis could spiral if the fighting and kidnappings of foreigners that are restricting the world's largest aid operation are not halted, the UN aid chief John Holmes said on Sunday. Holmes told Reuters during a visit to Sudan that insecurity caused by ongoing fighting between rebels and government, tribal clahes and abductions targeting foreign workers had forced some aid agencies to scale down operations and others to withdraw. 'Unless we can somehow get a grip on the insecurity and the kidnapping, we may see a steady erosion of the number of people prepared to work here,' Holmes said in Nyala, South Darfur. He said the International Committee of the Red Cross, after a number of kidnappings of its staff, had suspended much of its operations and others had pulled out completely. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir expelled 13 aid agencies last year after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant accusing him of war crimes and this left a limited number of groups willing or able to plug the gaps. 'There's a real problem if that process continues because then we might find ourselves in a downward spiral. If the organisations continue to leave who is going to pick up the slack?' he said. [...]"

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