Sudan governor expels French aid group from Darfur

2011-02-14 14:44

Khartoum – Sudanese authorities said today that they had expelled French aid group Medecins du Monde from a state in the Darfur region, accusing it of spying on the government and helping rebels.

UN sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sudanese security officials raided the group’s compound and arrested staff in South Darfur’s capital, Nyala, on Thursday.

“I announced today my decision to expel the group from the state,” said South Darfur governor Abdel Hamid Kasha.

“Medecins du Monde work as spies. They make negative reports about the state. They supported the Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur movement with money, food and treatment,” he added, referring to one of Darfur’s rebel groups.

Medecins du Monde’s Paris-based general director Pierre Salignon said he had not received any official notice of an expulsion.

“We are a purely humanitarian organisation trying to reach people in a very difficult situation,” he said.

Darfur is the scene of an eight-year conflict between government troops and rebels, who accused Khartoum of neglecting the development of the region.

Sudan faced international condemnation when it expelled 13 leading aid groups, including Oxfam, and the US branch of Save the Children in March 2009, accusing them of passing information to the International Criminal Court.

The court has issued arrest warrants for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan el-Bashir, to face charges of orchestrating genocide and war crimes during the government’s campaign to crush the uprising in Darfur.

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