Dutch ministry warns against travelling to Sudan

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Sudan is unlikely to fault Dutch citizens over other nationalities because the International Criminal Court is based in The Hague, but it’s better to be prepared, says foreign ministry.

THE NETHERLANDS – The Foreign Ministry has posted a severe travel warning to Sudan now that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant against the country's president.

The ministry advises Dutch citizens not to travel to the region of Darfur or the town of Malakal unless it is absolutely necessary.

On Wednesday, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Beshir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudan retaliated by ordering the expulsion of 10 international agencies which provide essential aid to the estimated 2.7 million people made homeless by the war in Darfur.

On Thursday, Sudan warned it could expel more aid agencies, after Khartoum ordered 10 relief groups to leave, accusing them of collaborating with the International Criminal Court.

"More NGOs are under focus and investigation," Humanitarian Affairs Commission chief Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman told reporters, without identifying them. "If we find evidence we will expel them."

"They cooperated with the ICC - some sent fabricated to the ICC about genocide," Abdel Rahman said of the expelled agencies.

There are currently around 250 Dutch citizens in Sudan who are mostly working for aid organisations or are connected to the United Nations or one of its missions.

All 250 have been asked to report to the Dutch Embassy in Khartoum.

The Dutch ambassador, Norbert Braakhuis, says it will be easier to provide help to any Dutch citizen if the embassy knows where everyone is.

He added there are no indications that Dutch citizens run a particular risk because the International Criminal Court is located in The Hague. However, he said he would like to be prepared for any possible occurrence.

Radio Netherlands / AFP / Expatica

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