In the face of a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis in Darfur, PHR staff met yesterday with our friend and colleague Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, MD, a physician and Professor of Medicine at el-Fasher University in Darfur, Sudan and a member of the Sudanese Center for Rights Promotion and Peace Building. Dr. Mohammed was formerly the medical treatment director at the Amel Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Darfur, offering services and support to survivors of torture and sexual violence while documenting violence and human rights abuses.
First the Sudanese Government expelled 13 aid groups by edict overnight; now the remaining groups are being terrorized.Now, three internationals---a Canadian nurse, an Italian doctor and a French coordinator---have been kidnapped by armed gunmen in a government-controlled area of north Darfur.
It is already happening---Darfuris are dying---directly as a result of President Bashir's expulsion of the humanitarian organizations. Meningitis, a highly contagious disease, is spreading through one of Darfur's largest camps for the internally displaced, Kalma, home to 90,000.
The consequences are nearly unfathomable. In the last 48 hours, Sudan has expelled 16 international aid organizations from Darfur.
I bet there are some women at the Farchana Refugee Camp in eastern Chad dancing today. When I was there last fall, some of the Darfuri refugees told me that "old women would get up and dance" if Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's rogue President and "mastermind" of the genocide in Darfur, was arrested.