Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has reportedly ordered the creation of a committee that will review requests by international nongovernmental organizations to operate in the country.
Aside from monitoring the activities of authorized foreign NGOs, the committee can propose regulations affecting these groups, according to the Sudan Tribune. A representative from the defense ministry will head the body, which will also include officials from the interior and foreign ministries, the Darfur Regional Authority, Humanitarian Commission, and national intelligence and security agencies.
Sudan, historically, has not been friendly to foreign aid groups. After the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest in March 2009, al-Bashir expelled 13 international aid groups from Darfur, citing their alleged collaboration with the court. Then in June 2012, the government orderedSave the Children and other relief groups to halt operations in the country’s eastern region because they “didn’t implement the projects we asked them to do.”
Sudan’s current law governing voluntary and humanitarian work prohibits registered civil society organizations to receive foreign funds without the approval of the humanitarian affairs ministry.
Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.