‘Legal technicality’ leads to expulsion of NGO Merlin from Sudan

The British-based humanitarian NGO Merlin, which became part of Save the Children in July 2013, has been forced to cease its work in Darfur owing to a ‘legal technicality’. The move will impact on some 600,000 Darfuris, who have been receiving a range of life-saving medical care from Merlin, which has been operating in Sudan since 1997.

According to Mohamed Adam, Humanitarian Aid Commissioner (HAC) for West Darfur, the Sudanese law for humanitarian work “does not allow for this (Merlin-Save the Children) merger”. Speaking to Radio Dabanga from state capital El Geneina, Commissioner Adam said that his office received notice from the organisation and a notice to their employees to end their work.

He said that his Commission “must now look for another organisation suitable to pick-up the functions left vacant by the departure of Merlin. In West Darfur alone, the NGO operates up to ten health centres in El Geneina, Beida, and Kereinik localities,” he said.

According to Merlin’s website (see link below), they “support 28 permanent health facilities in Sudan, and conduct mobile health clinics in many other locations, to ensure Merlin can reach people in the most remote places”.

The Commissioner also highlighted Merlin’s role in setting-up incentives and providing training to workers in government health centres in West Darfur.


Representatives of the displaced of West Darfur strongly condemned the expulsion of Merlin, and appealed for their return.

A representative of the camps told Radio Dabanga that the departure of the NGOs is disastrous. “Merlin provided wide-ranging humanitarian services to the displaced of West Darfur, including health, water, roads, and food,” he said. “That there is no provision in the law for them is simply unjust. It is the aim of the government to prevent organisations from seeing the suffering and violations the displaced endure and reporting it ti the international community.”

The representative called on the government of Sudan to “stop its policies against humanitarian organisations that provide essential services, especially in the field of health and treatment; services which the government itself cannot provide.”


Several international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the French Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) have had their operations curtailed by the Sudanese government’s hardening policies with regard to granting permits for such organisations and their employees.

The humanitarian situation in the camps for the displaced seriously deteriorated after Sudan expelled 13 foreign organisations operating in Darfur in response to the International Criminal Court’s issuing of an arrest warrant for President Omar Al Bashir in 2009.

Link: Merlins’ work in Sudan

File photo: A Merlin health care worker examines a mother and her child (Picture by Merlin)


French aid organisation shut-down in Darfur (19 March 2014)

Red Cross suspension ‘death sentence for Darfur’: Omda (3 February 2013)

Red Cross hopes to resume work in Sudan ‘soon’ (2 February 2014)

Sudan suspends all Red Cross activities (31 January 2014)

Article source: https://www.radiodabanga.org/node/71228

Dead, injured in North Darfur accident, attack

A displaced man was killed and four others seriously injured in a bus accident in North Darfur on Tuesday.

Yahya Abakar Mohammed (47) died when a bus carrying 48 passengers, en route from Kabkabiya to Jebel ‘Amer gold mine, was involved in an accident. The circumstances of the accident itself were not know at time of publishing, however witnesses told Radio Dabanga that Mohammed was buried at the scene, and the injured were transferred to Kabkabiya hospital.

Also in North Darfur, two women died when the Toyota they were travelling in was fired upon by militiamen. The incident occurred on the road from Korma to Kobe, 45 km northwest of state capital El Fasher. Witnesses said that the gunmen “randomly opened fire on the passengers which led to the death of two women and seriously injuring others.” The attackers then stole all of the money, mobile phones and belongings of the passengers and fled.

File photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran / Unamid

Article source: https://www.radiodabanga.org/node/71233

Sudanese army prepares for major offensive in Nuba Mountains

Satellite photographs have revealed the deployment of more Sudanese troops and equipment into the Nuba Mountains region in preparation for an offensive against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N).

Sudan’s Defence Minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Husein, announced in parliament on Monday the start of a summer campaign in the Nuba Mountains. He stated that the war in Darfur has subsided, suggesting that more troops could be shifted into South Kordofan.

Army troops as well as allied militia from Darfur have been deployed in force to the Kauda valley of the Nuba Mountains region, according to satellite imagery analysis and local reports.

Recent satellite images of the troops were published on Tuesday by the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), a partnership between commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe and the Enough Project, which is associated with US activists John Prendergast and actor George Clooney.

The images show “a significant mobilisation of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) around Rashad, Delaba, and Um Abdalah in the Nuba Mountains,” the Enough Project stated in a brief report.

“The SAF mobilisation, which includes the movement of heavy weaponry into the area, appears to be in preparation for an assault on rebel Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) bases in the Kauda valley,” added the project report.

Enough Project also stated that the imagery confirms the presence of a Chinese-manufactured WS-01 multiple rocket launcher in Delaba area. This weapon launches huge rockets that reportedly have a range of between 80 and 180 km.

Janjaweed militias

Multiple sources are reporting that government militia from Darfur are being deployed into South Kordofan to assist the army in its offensive.

Sudan’s director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamad El Atta, said publicly last Friday that Khartoum has dispatched extra Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to South Kordofan to fight the SPLA-N rebels.

RSF is the formal term given to the Janjaweed as per their integration under the command of the NISS. The group is most active in North Darfur.

In its latest report, the Enough Project warned: “The mobilisation of the Sudan Armed Forces in the Kauda valley in the Nuba Mountains is of immediate concern given the presence of heavy weaponry and Rapid Support Forces, reconstituted Janjaweed militias, in the area.”

The deployment of the government RSF prompted a reaction from the SPLA-N, which controls much of the Nuba Mountains. Commander Abdel Aziz El Hilu issued a statement accusing the government of mobilising ‘tribal militias’ against the region.

“The government will cover up these attacks, describing them as tribal clashes,” he predicted.

The commander claimed that a force of RSF was stationed in El Fayd village in Rashad district in the Nuba Mountains under the command of Brig. Gen. Abdel-Samad Babiker, Com. Col. Mohamed El Fatih Ahmed, and Maj. Gen. Mohamed Rabie.

(Radio Tamazuj)

File photo: A motorised infantry battalion immediately east of Um Abdalah, South Kordofan, 13 April 2014. Gun-mounted pick-up trucks (‘technicals’), tanks, and cargo trucks are visible.

The photo below shows the deployment of a WS-01 multiple rocket launcher and one 2S1 self-propelled artillery gun to an installation south of Delaba on April 9, 2014. (DigitalGlobe / Enough Project)


More than 24,900 civilians displaced in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains: SPLM-N (27 November 2013)

Sudanese army planning ‘large operations’ against rebels: Minister (13 November 2013)

Five die, 20 children injured in air raid on school in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains (29 October 2013)

Article source: https://www.radiodabanga.org/node/71204

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