MSF Holland has been providing treatment in the Kalma camp, home to over 90 000 displaced people in South Darfur, since May 2004. Muhajariya and Feina are also affected; MSF states that the decision leaves over 200 000 people lacking essential medical care.

The Sudanese Government informed MSF that all activity should cease and staff should be ready for immediate departure, following the International Criminal Court’€™s (ICC) issuing of an arrest warrant on March 4th for the Sudanese President, Omar el-Bashir, on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. MSF was given no explanation for the decision, and state that they remain an independent and impartial organisation, with no ties to the ICC. Arjan Hehenkamp, MSF Holland’€™s Operational Director, says that, ‘€œIt is absurd that we as an independent and impartial organization have been caught up in a political and judicial process’€.

Hehenkamp also says that ‘€œMSF has worked tirelessly to deliver medical aid to the people of Darfur since the beginning of the crisis. It is completely unacceptable that the people of Darfur are being deprived of essential medical care’€.

The MSF press release states that the expulsion coincides with an outbreak of meningitis in Kalma camp, which could potentially affect 90 000 people, and that the disease ‘€“ if left untreated ‘€“ is deadly. In Muhajariya the closure of the only hospital in the area leaves approximately 70 000 people with no access to healthcare, whilst in Feina the decision will result in the closure of health clinics in which MSF treat around 3 000 people per month.

The press release also states that: ‘€˜At this moment, other MSF sections continue to work in a number of locations throughout Darfur’€™.  

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