Sudanese president: Local groups to distribute aid

March 16, 2009 12:00


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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday expressed his desire for international aid groups to stop working in the country within a year. Bashir has already expelled 13 large aid agencies from Darfur after an international court issued an arrest warrant against him on March 4 for war crimes in the western Sudanese region. Speaking to thousands of security forces in Khartoum on Monday, Bashir warned aid groups to respect Sudan's sovereignty or "pay the price." He did not elaborate. He said foreign aid groups could drop off humanitarian aid at Sudan's airports, but that local groups should be the only ones distributing supplies. His comments came two days after three foreign aid workers were released after being kidnapped for several days in Darfur.

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