Thursday, March 5, 2009


Just a quick update here, and one where I can't be too specific.

As a general rule, I've been asked to avoid mentioning the name of the organization I'm currently with in Sudan. This is as much to protect the image of said organization (which is based in Portland, and whose slogan encourages you to 'be the change.'), as for security, as the government here is unpredictable.

Not that it really seems to matter much at the moment. Today, the organization, along with nine others, was kicked out of Sudan.

This is presumably in response to the decision by the International Criminal Court yesterday to issue a warrant of arrest for Omar Al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. He's been accused of war crimes in Darfur, including murder, rape, and torture, among others.

In Darfur and in the northern portion of the country, all operations have been suspended. Staff have been consolidated, and the government has seized many of the assets of the organization, including vehicles, computers, and more. Fortunately everyone is OK physically, from what I hear.

In the south, where I am things are mostly unaffected, actually. The government, based in Khartoum, has very little influence over the (unofficially) semi-autonomous south, which has welcomed the continued presence of NGOs, including the one I'm currently with. We're stuck here at the moment, but other than that, it appears that things are likely to go on basically OK once the worst blows over.

For the north and Darfur though, it's another story entirely. In Darfur, millions of people are dependent on NGOs for their basic needs, and this expulsion is likely to mean more misery, and more death, as resources dry up. From everything we've heard, the government is unlikely to reverse its decision anytime soon, so for now, nobody really knows what will happen in terms of the program. One thing is for sure though- more people will die.

I'll try to post another update soon, but for now, check the news. Fortunately, there is little danger to us physically, particularly here. We're hoping for the best, but hard to say what will happen next...

1 comment:

  1. Nathaniel,
    I hope that things are going well for you (as well as could be happening right now). I hope you continue to "wait" and not have to evacuate so that you can continue doing what you can for those displaced in Sudan. Keep us posted and stay safe.