Engineering disaster and emergency relief organisation RedR has suspended its training activities in the Darfur region of Sudan following the expulsion of 10 relief organisations from the area.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for president of Sudan Omar Al Bashir on Wednesday for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“He is suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-)perpetrator, for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property,” according to an ICC statement.
Al Bashir’s government then expelled 10 relief organisations from Darfur in response to the news. RedR has not been targeted, but has suspended its activities while it monitors activity in the area.
RedR Chief Executive Martin McCann said: “We are hoping that these issues can be resolved quickly and that our dedicated team in Sudan can go on providing support to the thousands of relief workers currently in Darfur, enabling them to continue with their life-saving work.
“Since 2005 we have delivered 226 courses, providing training in personal safety, safety management and first aid to 2796 participants. 94% of those we have trained are Sudanese aid workers.
“While we are keen to continue with our programme, our main concern at this time is for the safety of our staff and their families,” he said.
RedR provides training to relief workers operating in Sudan, in particular the Darfur region. It has been operating in Sudan since 2005 with 39 staff in Khartoum and Darfur, 36 of whom are Sudanese nationals.
RedR offers training, consultancy and support to disaster relief agencies and their staff all over the world, increasing their effectiveness in the field. Up to 4.7M people are affected by the ongoing conflict in Darfur.