The FDFA is worried by the expulsion of humanitarian actors from Darfur

Bern, Press release, 05.03.2009

The FDFA deplores the fact that the Sudanese authorities have decided to expel humanitarian actors from Darfur in response to the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court, published on 4 March 2009, to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president.

The FDFA has noted the decision by Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Switzerland attaches great importance to the work of the Court and respects its independence. It is a party to the Rome Statute and cooperates fully with this institution.  

The Sudanese authorities have decided to revoke permission to operate that was granted to about a dozen non-governmental organisations. The FDFA is very worried about the humanitarian and human security consequences this could have for the 4.5 million people in distress in Darfur. The aid agencies provide essential services for the survival of a large number of civilians, particularly in the fields of water supply, food, health and protection.  

The FDFA urges all the parties concerned to exercise restraint and reminds them of their obligation to comply fully with international law, which imposes an obligation to guarantee the security of the personnel of the UN, the AU (African Union) and   humanitarian organisations and to ensure humanitarian access to populations in need. 

Contact: Information FDFA 031 322 31 53

Address for enquiries:

Press and Information Service
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs