Sudan's life-saving relief work and fragile peace process are at much greater risk if President Omar al-Bashir follows through on his threat this week to rid the country of all international aid groups within 12 months.
In a passionate speech delivered to a military rally in Khartoum's Green Square, Bashir said he wants all relief distribution efforts turned over to Sudanese groups in order to "clear our country of any spies," wire services reported early this week.
Earlier this month, Bashir expelled 13 aid groups from the western region of Darfur, following the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to issue a warrant for his arrest on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. He has accused international aid agencies of secretly collaborating with the ICC. The agencies reject the allegation.
"We have ordered the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to completely 'Sudanize' the voluntary work in Sudan within one year, and after that we don't want international organizations ...1