Sunday, March 22, 2009

Expulsion of Aid Groups Puts Millions at Risk in Darfur

NYALA, Sudan — The sign outside the clinic in Otash camp reads “8-hour service daily.”

On Friday, Haider Ismael al-Amin lay in his mother’s arms, his 10-year-old body withered and weak from dehydration after a night of vomiting. But the door to the clinic was locked. After 30 minutes of waiting, his family gave up.

“The white people used to come every day,” said Hawa Hamal Mohammed, a relative of the boy. “Now the clinic is closed.”

The American aid group that operated the clinic, the International Rescue Committee, was one of more than a dozen aid groups expelled from Darfur this month by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He accused them of cooperating with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes in the conflict that has consumed Darfur for years.

Since then, local health workers have been struggling, with almost no medicine, to keep the clinic open on a limited basis. Thousands of people in this sprawling camp depend on it for primary care.
But on Friday it was closed altogether. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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