Sudan to expel all foreign aid groups

By March 17, 2009

Sudan (MNN) — Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, wants all
foreign aid groups out of the country within a year. His statement comes days
after the expulsion of 13 aid groups in response to a war crimes indictment.

The United Nations said those expulsions would leave
millions at risk of a humanitarian
crisis.

It's not a new tactic, says Glenn Penner of Voice of the
Martyrs-Canada.
"Over the years, they've done this repeatedly in one form
or another. During the civil war in the South, they quite frequently made it
very difficult or banned foreign organizations from working in the country, so
we're simply going to have to wait it out." 

Most of the agencies were banished from the conflict-hit
Darfur province.  However, there was no distinction
between Darfur agencies and those working throughout the rest of the country.

Al-Bashir insisted the NGOs can drop off supplies "at
airports or seaports" and let Sudanese groups take care of the
distribution.

When asked if their ministry in Sudan would be threatened,
Penner noted that,  "At this point,
we're not making any contingency plans at all. We do work with another
organization in Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan is a little bit of a separate
entity, so it'll be interesting to see how much the South will be
impacted."

Their team works with a Relief and Development Fund in Sudan.
It provides relief aid to needy, persecuted Christian's families, job training,
refugee assistance, and other practical means of meaningful help and
encouragement.  Much of their work in Sudan is financed through donations to this fund.

Penner says, "Pray for the believers who are working
there that they'll continue to operate as freely as they can, for as long as
they can, [and] that we won't be overcome by fear."

Leave a Reply