KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan's government confirmed Wednesday it will expel a number of international aid workers from the restive western region of Darfur, without specifying how many.
UN officials earlier had said six staffers from international aid groups had been told by local Darfur officials that their security could no longer be guaranteed and were asked to leave West Darfur.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said it was a verbal order. Those expelled worked International Committee of the Red Cross, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the U.N.'s refugee agency.
Expulsion orders from local officials is a new phenomenon for aid groups working in Darfur and the latest sign of rising strains between the international organizations and the government.
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Muwaia Khaled told the Associated Press the aid workers were being deported individually, and the deportation does not reflect on the organizations they work for.
"Any organization that abides by the regulations and code set will be respected," Khaled stressed. "There are indeed some violations committed and this is the reason why they were expelled."
He did not elaborate on the nature of the offenses and said the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs would disclose more later.