Sudanese gov't ready to fill gap of humanitarian work in Darfur: Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir on Sunday reiterated the readiness of his government to fill the gap of humanitarian work in the war-torn region of Darfur after 13 foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were expelled, Xinhua reported.
The Sudanese president made the remarks while addressing a meeting of Sudanese charities and voluntary organizations for collecting donations, which was organized by the Supreme Committee of the Sudanese National Organizations.
Bashir said the deported foreign NGOs had been implementing the colonial agenda in the region under the guise of humanitarian work.
He warned the remaining foreign relief organizations in Sudan of the consequences of overstepping their mandate stipulated by the country's law of voluntary work.
Praising the role of domestic social organizations in improving the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Bashir announced that the donations made by these organizations at the meeting could fill 100 percent of the gap left by the departure of the foreign NGOs.
The Sudanese president also stressed the government's commitment to supporting the programs of voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur.
He called on Sudanese voluntary organizations to stand by the side of the IDPs in refugee camps so that they could return to their homes.
"I do not want the children of Darfur to remain in the IDPs' camps," the Sudanese president said.
For his part, Haron Ruwal, Sudanese Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, praised the efforts of the Sudanese government to improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur.
"The international organizations are allowed by the government to enter Darfur to help relieve the suffering of the people there, " the minister said.
He called on the foreign NGOs to adhere to the mandate granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
Earlier in the day, the Sudanese government announced that it had taken security measures to protect foreign NGOs and their offices in Darfur.
"There are security measures to protect organizations and their headquarters," said Sudanese commissioner for the humanitarian aid Hassabu Mohammed Abdel-Rahman at a press conference in the capital, one day after three foreign aid workers were released in Darfur.
"There will be coordination between the Sudanese Ministry of the Interior and the security agencies and the local governments of the three states in Darfur," he said.
The Sudanese government has been under mounting pressure of the UN and Western countries after it decided on March 5 to expel 13 foreign NGOs operating in Darfur, accusing them of passing "false and fabricated information" to the International Criminal Court ( ICC).
The decision came one day after the ICC issued an arrest warrant against the Sudanese president for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.