Posted by: becketfund | January 31, 2009

Sudan: US Aid Group Expelled Over Bibles

KHARTOUM – A United States aid group has been thrown out of Sudan’s Darfur region after officials found thousands of Arabic-language bibles stacked in its office, state media reported on January 31, Reuters reported on January 31. Sudanese authorities told the state Suna news agency they found 3,400 copies of Christianity’s sacred book in the office run by water charity Thirst No More in North Darfur, a region that is almost entirely Muslim. Officials told Suna they had decided to expel the Texas-based group “for its violation to the Voluntary Work Act, the Country Agreement and the regulations on registration of organizations in Sudan.” Regulations dictate that all aid groups must give details of their activities to the Sudan government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and are not allowed to start new projects without state approval. Suna said that Thirst No More was supposed to be in the war-torn region supplying drinking water. It had “failed to provide justification” for its ownership of so many bibles, North Darfur’s HAC commissioner Osman Hussein Abdalla told the agency. Thirst No More country director Charlie Michalik, speaking to Reuters in Khartoum, confirmed officials were carrying out an investigation into his organization’s work, but declined to go into further detail.

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