Khartoum position unclear and unstable

By March 20, 2009

Sudan (MNN) — Sudan is now
pledging not to expel any more aid groups, especially those in Darfur. The United Nations says they have received
reassurances that there were no more expulsions in the pipeline.

It's a flip of President Omar
al-Beshir's threat made on Monday to put an end to foreign aid presence within
the year.

Khartoum expelled 13 foreign and
three local aid groups from operating in northern Sudan earlier this month. The
move caused great consternation among those in the trenches of the humanitarian
disaster brewing in Darfur.

Their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The Sudanese government accused the Non-Government Organizations of working
with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which issued a warrant for
President Omar al-Bashir's arrest on war crimes charges.

Aid groups believe the expulsions
and the threats to expel more were a sign of al-Bashir's defiance. This week, while rallying Arab supporters in
Darfur, the president again challenged the warrant, saying the criminal court could not
touch even "an eyelash" on him.

Rouster with
Every Child Ministries says they had been considering a project in southern Sudan, but with the
uncertainty, it's "on hold" for now. "This
may stop long-term commitments to have a presence on the ground. What we're
hoping for is to continue going in and doing short-term seminars and delivering
short-term aid to churches. We don't know as of yet how this really will
affect the situation for Every Child Ministries in Sudan." 

ECM was looking to place special
emphasis on Christian education and leadership development programs to
motivate, train, equip, and provide resources to empower African churches and
leaders for children's ministries and youth outreach.

One way to see this accomplished was to join hands with the churches, families,
and civil authorities of New Sudan in building a strong nation by rebuilding
the broken lives of children and youth. Aside from the uncertainty in Sudan, there
were other considerations which made waiting on the project a prudent
choice. But they haven't given up.

There are many obstacles
in front of a new ministry, and Rouster urges continued prayer. "Pray that ministries will have wisdom in
knowing how to deal with this situation. Pray also that God might change
the hearts of leaders in Sudan, and that the motivations that they have might
become manifest."

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