A Crisis Looms Large in Darfur

Yesterday the United Nations and the Government of Sudan released a joint assessment that begins to calculate the enormous humanitarian implications that expelling thirteen aid groups from Sudan will have on civilians in Sudan, particularly in the Darfur region. The estimates are grim: more than a million people will go without food rations by May and water could run out in some camps for internally displaced persons within weeks. Human Rights First has called on the Government of Sudan to reinstate the 13 aid groups it expelled and three national agencies it dissolved. We have also urged the U.S. government, the League of Arab States and the African Union to do more to help resolve the approaching humanitarian emergency that is being orchestrated by the Sudanese government.

Discouragingly, the United Nations Security Council has failed to take decisive action on the expulsion of the aid groups, thereby once again failing to protect civilians in Darfur. Deep divisions within the Council continue to prevent the robust response that is warranted. One hopes that the assessment released yesterday will compel Sudan’s traditional allies on the Security Council such as China, Russia and Libya to put their political allegiances aside and do all they can to pressure Khartoum to reverse the expulsion orders.

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Published on May 25, 2009

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