Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC) – The Sudanese authorities have lifted the suspension of activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), even while discussions on practical arrangements to promote effective coordination between the humanitarian organization and the country's authorities are still under way.
The authorities suspended the ICRC's activities in the country on 1 February, citing technical issues. "The lifting of the suspension while the dialogue continues is a positive step," said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. "It will allow us to resume our humanitarian work and our aid will again reach conflict- and violence-affected people. This is good news."
After being absent for seven months from conflict-affected areas, the ICRC will re-initiate a dialogue with everyone involved in or affected by the conflicts to ensure that they accept its neutral and impartial work. "Our priority is to have our staff back on the ground as quickly as possible," said Mr Sandoz. "As the humanitarian situation has changed since February, we will start by carrying out assessments of needs in conflict areas. We will then decide on what can be done, and re-adapt our capacity accordingly."
The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1978. In 2003, it extended its operations to Darfur, where it helps people suffering the effects of armed conflict and other violence.
For further information, please contact:
Asia Kambal, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 91 216 49 31
Thomas Glass, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05