|Humanitarian and Advocacy Information
|| DARFUR ARCHIVES|
|Click here to see my photo journal from Central African Republic and Chad|
|Read "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin|
|View a timeline of events in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur|
|March 27, 2011|
KHARTOUM - Sudan has ordered a Catholic aid agency to close its operations in west Darfur by the end of the month, in a move the organization says will deprive 400,000 people of emergency food supplies.
"The government has asked us to leave Darfur because they said they couldn't guarantee our security," Catholic Relief Services (CRS) spokeswoman Sara Fajardo told AFP. "One of their claims was that we were distributing bibles. This is completely wrong. It is against all our operating principles. We are a humanitarian organisation whose work is based on need and not creed. The majority of our staff in Darfur are Muslim," she added.
The agency said in a statement late on Saturday that the forced closure of its food programme in west Darfur at the end of March would deprive more than 400,000 people of vital monthly food handouts.
CRS, which also builds schools and provides education, emergency shelter and water and sanitation supplies in Darfur, had been waiting to hear whether it could resume its operations there, after they were suspended in January.
It becomes the latest in a list of non-governmental organisations to be forced out of the war-torn western region in the past year, at a time when humanitarian work was already failing to meet local needs, according to the United Nations.