South Darful expells French NGO: governor

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

South Darfur has expelled a French health care organisation for alleged cooperation with one of the region's main rebel groups, the state's governor said on Monday.

"We expelled Medecine de Monde because we have information that this NGO (non-governmental organisation) worked outside its mandate... and is supporting Abdelwahid's rebel group in east Jebel Marra," Abdelhamid Kasha told AFP.

"We have documentary proof of this from information sent by Sudanese working for the NGO to their office in Khartoum and to their headquarters in New York," he added.

The French NGO, which provides primary health care, nutrition and health eduction in the east Jebel Marra area of Sudan's war-torn western region, refused to comment. A spokesman for the French embassy in Khartoum also refused to respond.

Abdelwahid Nur's faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) is one of three main rebel groups fighting government troops in Darfur along with Minni Minnawi's branch of the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movemment.

Just last week, after meeting Sudan's foreign minister, the US special envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, hailed the "great steps" the government had taken to facilitate the movement of international NGOs and the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force (UNAMID) in Darfur.

His comments contradicted the assessment of several aid workers based in Sudan, and UNAMID itself, who have strongly complained about restrictions on movement in Darfur in recent weeks, whether because of security concerns or obstruction by government troops.

Renewed fighting between rebels and the Sudanese army has forced more than 43,000 people to flee their homes since December, according to UN estimates.

© 2011 AFP

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