Khartoum, Sudan - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it has suspended its activities in the Sudan, in response to allegations, by the Sudanese Humanitarian Act Commission, that the world body was not complying with the national law regulating the work of charity and non-governmental organizations.
The ICRC said the suspension was with effect from 1 February, 2014, when it received an official order to stop work from the Sudanese government.
'In consultation with our main partner, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, we are now in discussions with the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Humanitarian Aid Commission,” a press release by the ICRC quoted Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Sudan, as saying Sunday.
The official Sudan news agency, SUNA, quoted the Sudanese humanitarian aid commissioner as saying that ICRC activities in the Sudan must follow the signing of all relevant technical agreements with the Sudanese humanitarian aid commission and with its relevant Sudanese counterpart, the Sudanese red Crescent
The commission was quoted as saying that it noted that the ICRC was conducting its activities outside the framework of the relevant international charters and agreements with the Sudan.
It said the ICRC was notified that its activities in the Sudan would be suspended pending the signing of the agreements.
Meanwhile, the ICRC has said “We are confident that the technical issues cited by the Commission as the reason for this suspension will be quickly settled.'
The ICRC said it has over 700 staff in Sudan, both local and international, adding that its activities in the country in 2013 benefited over 1.5 million people living in areas affected by armed conflicts and other violence.
'We remain committed to the people of Sudan,' Mr. Sandoz said. “It is therefore our hope that there will soon be an agreement with the authorities allowing a resumption of our work to help those in need.”
The ICRC release said the international body had been working in Sudan since 1978 and extended its operations to Darfur in 2003.