Red Cross says ordered to suspend Sudan work
Khartoum: Sudanese authorities have ordered the Red Cross to suspend its activities, the organisation said Saturday, in the latest restriction to be placed on foreign aid workers in the country.
"We have received an official letter from the HAC (Humanitarian Aid Commission) informing us to suspend our activities with effect from today," Rafiullah Qureshi, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sudan, told.
"Our activities are suspended."
He said HAC cited "some technical issues" related to work which ICRC hoped to undertake this year in Sudan.
As a neutral intermediary, the Red Cross has facilitated the handover and repatriation of numerous prisoners held by groups in the country`s war-torn Darfur region.
The agency has also provided health services, food aid, seeds, tools, hand pumps and other assistance which helped more than 1.5 million people in restive parts of the country last year, Qureshi said.
Although its projects are suspended, the ICRC`s roughly 700 local and international staff will still go to their offices while discussions take place "in coming days" with the foreign ministry, HAC and other government agencies, he said.
The aim is "to resume our activities as soon as possible in favour of the victims of armed conflict."
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