Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Peace Corps Pulling out of Mauritania

The US Peace Corps have removed over 100 aid workers from Mauritania amid a rise in violence.  A suicide bombing killed two people earlier this month, and al-Qaeda claims to have killed an American aid worker in June.  The Peace Corps have also moved remaining staff to a training center in Senegal for security reasons.

Kidnappings in Darfur Hamper Aid Efforts

The recent wave of kidnappings in Darfur is adding to the difficulty of working in Sudan, which had previously expelled 13 international aid groups.  Medecins Sans Fronteires (MSF), and the Irish Aid group, Goal, have stopped operations certain parts of northern Darfur after the abduction of staff.  Most of the kidnappings are occurring in rural parts of the country, so aid agencies have moved foreign staff to urban areas, and many worker only leave cities for brief trips to train and supervise local workers.  Additionally, many experienced aid workers are refusing to go to areas with a high risk of kidnapping, leaving dangerous, yet important, missions to younger, less experienced staff.