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Voices for Sudan Reacts to Expulsion of NGOs from Eastern Sudan

Washington, DC (June 6, 2012) - Voices for Sudan, the D.C.-based advocacy organization, condemns the actions announced by the Sudanese government on Friday, June 1, 2012 to expel four aid organizations from eastern Sudan. Eastern Sudan is an historically impoverished and underdeveloped region.

These conditions will only be exacerbated by Khartoum’s removal of Medecins Sans Frontieres and other organizations providing vital services to the citizens of eastern Sudan. This government has failed to provide any substantive reason for this exile.

One day before these orders were announced, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement expressing concern about the Sudanese government’s continued denial of access to the UN and other aid organizations. There is now growing concern about government efforts to block humanitarian aid, especially in the border regions of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. These regions are already facing near-famine conditions.

The United States has repeatedly expressed concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in Sudan. Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN stated on Thursday that "[t]here has been no progress in terms of the government of Sudan allowing open humanitarian access.” Princeton Lyman, US special envoy to Sudan, warned in January of “a looming humanitarian disaster in Sudan”.

This pattern of retaliation began in 2009, when 13 aid organizations were expelled from Darfur after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Despite continued advocacy, aid organizations remain banned from the regions of Sudan most in need. Jimmy Mulla, President and Co-founder of Voices for Sudan, claims that“there has been a lack of effective measures being taken against the government of Sudan to counteract these tactics and because of this they have continued to be used against the Sudanese people.”

Voices for Sudan calls on the international community to pressure Khartoum to reverse this decision and allow aid organizations to provide life-saving services to all the peoples of Sudan.

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About Voices for Sudan: Voices for Sudan is a U.S.-based coalition of a diverse network of Sudan-led organizations in the Diaspora dedicated to resolving the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. VFS envisions a modern Sudan at peace with itself and its neighbors, where human rights are protected by the government and where sustainable economic development can flourish.

 

 

 

 

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