Posted by: APO | 8 November 2007

Darfur: UN Official Expelled After Protesting Forced Relocations

Darfur: UN Official Expelled After Protesting Forced Relocations

(New York, November 8, 2007) – Sudanese local authorities in South Darfur on November 7 expelled the top United Nations humanitarian official from the region after he objected to an illegal police and military operation last week that forcibly relocated hundreds of women and children at gunpoint.

The authorities stated that Wael al-Haj Ibrahim, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in South Darfur, had violated “rules of humanitarian action,” but did not provide further details.

A United Nations team, together with African Union peacekeepers, had tried to gain access to Otash camp for displaced persons during the relocation operation, but were kept out by heavily armed police and military. The UN humanitarian office raised objections to the local authorities, and afterwards demanded that they account for the whereabouts of those forcibly relocated. The operation, part of an ongoing effort by the government to dismantle camps in Darfur, was conducted in violation of the basic rights of camp residents guaranteed under international law.


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