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Sudan government suspends Darfur NGOs after alleging rule violations

[JURIST] Sudan suspended the work of 52 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Darfur [JURIST news archive] Thursday after allegations that they were not complying with regulations. The Sudanese government said the organizations would be able to resume work after talks with the government's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). United Nations Under-Secretary-General John Holmes [official profile], scheduled to visit Darfur this week, said a political resolution is needed to eliminate the need for massive humanitarian support in the region.

International NGOs make up a large part of the humanitarian effort in Sudan, the largest in the world. Over 200,000 people have died in Darfur since civil war broke out in 2003. According to a March 6 report [text] by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor [official website], the HAC hindered NGO humanitarian efforts in 2006 by requiring NGOs to only hire new staff through a five-person panel and with HAC officials present. In addition, the report said that the government harassed humanitarian workers and detained them "on various arbitrary rules and requirements without prior notification." Holmes is working to convince the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian organizations to work uninhibited. Reuters has more.

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