SUDAN: President Omar al-Bashir joins protesters at an anti-NGO demonstration in KhartoumRecord ID: 313600
- Title: SUDAN: President Omar al-Bashir joins protesters at an anti-NGO demonstration in Khartoum
- Date: 14th March 2009
- Summary: WOMEN CHANTING IN ENGLISH: "DOWN DOWN U.S.A"
- Reuters ID: LVACIAFBOX9ZP9LZ3IFN6O7HDN9B
- Location: Sudan
- Country: Sudan
- Duration: 00:00:09
- Topics: International Relations,Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir joins protesters in Khartoum at an anti-NGO demonstration as UNAMID peacekeeping force says five aid workers have been kidnapped in Darfur.
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir joined a crowd of female protesters on the streets of Khartoum on Thursday (March 12), days after a Hague court issued a warrant for him over accusations of war crimes in Darfur.
Waving portraits of the president, demonstrators said they were protesting at the presence of NGOs in the country, saying they had actually increased the conflict there.
And there were accusations that NGO's were working as spies.
The demonstration, organised by the Sudan Women's Union, was taking place as it was reported five aid workers from Medecins Sans Frontieres had been kidnapped in Darfur.
Sudan recently expelled a number of aid groups, including Oxfam and Save the Children, saying they helped the International Criminal Court (ICC) which issued the arrest warrant for Bashir.
One protester, Nafisa Osman, welcomed the expulsions. "They have not helped solve any problem either from an economic or security level."
Another, Arafa Muhammud, said NGO's were spies using humanitarian work as a cover up. "They have a hidden agenda and are offering wrong and fabricated information against Sudan."
The expelled groups have denied helping the International Criminal Court and warned the closure of their programmes will have a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people in Darfur and beyond.
Before they were ordered out of the country, aid groups, together with the United Nations, were running the world's largest humanitarian operation in Darfur where, international experts say, almost six years of conflict have killed 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.7 million people from their homes.
UNAMID peacekeeping force said on Thursday (March 12) five aid workers from the Belgian arm of Medecins Sans Frontieres had been kidnapped in Darfur.
A U.N. official, who asked not to be named, said the foreigners were of Italian, French and Canadian nationality. MSF's Brussels office confirmed that a number of its staff had been kidnapped but gave no further details.
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