Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Europe Urges Sudan to Return Seized NGO Assets

The European Commission and Britain are urging the Sudanese government to return assets seized from 13 NGOs when they were expelled from the country in March.  The Sudanese government has expressed a desire to redistribute the assets to other organizations over the objections of the NGOs and the western governments that helped fund them.  Sudan’s state minister in charge of humanitarian affairs, Abdel Barqi al-Jailani, stated that “according to our law, if an NGO is expelled its assets should be redistributed to other NGOs working in the field.”

UNICEF Spokesman Expelled From Sri Lanka Over Comments to the Media

James Elder has been given until September 21st to leave Sri Lanka after making comments that the Sri Lankan government deemed to be supportive of the Tamil Tigers.  During the government’s final push to defeat the Tamils, Mr. Elder said that children were being caught in an “unimaginable hell,” and more recently, Mr. Elder claimed that children in government run camps were dying of malnutrition.  The Sri Lankan foreign secretary, Palitha Kohona, refuted Mr. Elders comments and argued that “he is supporting a terrorist organization.  When you express views that are taken from the propaganda arm of a terrorist organization I don’t think there’s much room left for doubt.”

Massive Flood in West Africa

According to the UN, more than 592,000 people across 10 West African countries have been affected by floods in the past several weeks.  Burkina Faso saw 10 inches of rain in a ten hour period, killing eight people.  The abnormally heavy rains are falling on the poor infrastructure of expanding cities, exacerbating the problem and causing power outages.  Despite the human suffering, the heavy rains are expected to aid farmers.