Sudan facing ‘immediate crisis’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Barack Obama said yesterday that Sudan faces an immediate crisis over the Sudanese government’s decision to expel some aid groups in Darfur.

Obama made the comment during a White House picture-taking session with his Sudanese envoy, Scott Gration, who is expected to travel to the region soon and report back to Obama.

Khartoum ordered out 13 foreign groups and shut down three local ones after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on March 4 against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes in the embattled Darfur region.

Obama said, “we have an immediate crisis prompted by the Khartoum government’s expulsion of non-governmental organizations that are providing aid to displaced persons inside of Sudan.” He said he would like to get the groups back in place to avoid a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The president said Gration will speak for the Obama administration.

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