Sudan: North Darfur Displaced Protest Closure of 16 Health Centres

El Fasher — The suspension of the Sudanese NGO Anhar in North Darfur has triggered protests among the displaced people in the region.

Earlier this week, the North Darfur department of the national Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee suspended the activities of the Anhar Organisation for Peace. The decision led to the closure of 16 health centres in camps for the displaced in Kabkabiya, Saraf Omra, and El Fasher localities.

The Empowerment* Elimination Committee was established by the new government in November 2019 with the purpose to purge Sudan from the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Since then, the committee has been instrumental in breaking the party's grip on the political scene and state resources.

North Darfur community leaders denounced "the erroneous decision of the committee" in a statement yesterday, and asked why no alternative services were arranged before the actual suspension.

They say they consider Anhar "an independent and credible national organisation working in the field of emergency and humanitarian work in North Darfur, and currently providing health, nutrition, water, and environmental sanitation services to more than 169,000 beneficiaries inside and outside the camps throughout the state".

The community leaders warned for a serious deterioration of the health situation in in Kabkabiya, Saraf Omra, and El Fasher localities, and demand the Sovereignty Council, the Council of Ministers, and Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission to take "immediate and urgent action".

They mentioned in particular the Sortony camp in Kabkabiya, that houses about 22,000 displaced people. Anhar was cooperating with other relief organisations in providing basic services to the people in camp after the peacekeepers of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) handed the Sortony site to the government on April 9.

The camp was established in the first half of 2016 after tens of thousands of people fled government attacks on Jebel Marra. Nearly 70,000 of them sought refuge near the UNAMID base in Sortony.

* Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies and organisations.

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