April 15, 2009 / 9:27 AM / 9 years ago

Oxfam GB appeals against expulsion from Sudan

KHARTOUM, April 15 (Reuters) - Aid group Oxfam GB submitted a formal appeal to the Sudanese government on Wednesday over its expulsion from the country, denying allegations it passed information to the International Criminal Court.

The British arm of Oxfam International said the humanitarian situation in Darfur has deteriorated since the expulsion of 13 international aid groups in March.

The groups were expelled hours after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes in the western region. Sudan, which does not recognise the ICC, rejects the charges.

"We have already been told that water pumps in some Darfur camps have stopped pumping, and there are growing fears about the potential for outbreaks of disease in the coming rainy season," said Penny Lawrence, Oxfam GB’s International Programmes Director.

Oxfam submitted its appeal to the government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) within the one month window allowed by Sudanese law. HAC was not immediately available to comment.

A joint UN-Sudanese assessment of the situation in Darfur reported last month that shortages could appear within months. It said four of the expelled groups served some 1.1 million people.

Some 4.7 million people rely on humanitarian aid in Darfur, where the United Nations runs its largest aid operation in the world with the help of NGOs. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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