Situation Report

Humanitarian organizations to ensure that people are not affected by the closure of national NGOs

Humanitarian organizations in Sudan are working with the Government to ensure that life-saving activities continue uninterrupted and that people receiving assistance are not affected by the deregistration of over 50 national NGOs by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) Registrar General. Decisions 45, 47 (issued on 21 November), and 49 (issued on 24 November cancelled the registration of these national NGOs, appropriated their assets and property, and froze their bank accounts both in and outside Sudan.

The UN and its partners will request HAC support in expediting new technical agreements, should they be needed. If necessary, to ensure continuity of assistance to people in need during this period, the UN will also request international NGOs be allowed to directly implement affected programmes, while working on longer-term solutions. Also, the humanitarian community appeals for an opportunity to present lists of assets, funds, records and data belonging to the humanitarian community that were under the custody of these national non-government organisations to federal HAC for consideration for release to the humanitarian community in support of continuation of delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

Following the HAC Registrar’s decision, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development clarified in a press statement that the decisions were issued because the national NGOs involved had committed violations with regards to registration, funding, and technical agreements. In response, some of the affected national NGOs announced in a news conference that they will take legal action to overturn the federal HAC decision. The affected organizations have written a memorandum of protest requesting the immediate nullification of the HAC Registrar’s decision; an investigation into the alleged violations to allow them to defend their reputation and programmes; a revision of the 2006 Organization of Voluntary and Humanitarian Work Act (bringing it in line with the Constitutional Convention, International Human Rights Law and the regional and international obligations of the Sudan); and strengthening role and rights of civil society organizations to enable them to carry out their activities. Many of these national NGOs had been assisting vulnerable people in various parts of the country.

In South Kordofan, the State HAC appealed to the office of the Wali to allow national NGOs whose registration was revoked to continue activities in the state. HAC rated the performance of one of the NGOs whose registration was revoked—as active. In South Kordofan, this NGO is implementing programmes in partnership with WFP, UNICEF and other humanitarian partners.

In Kassala State, the Wali (Governor) wrote a letter to the Bank of Sudan in Kassala on 2 December, asking them to unblock the bank accounts of the national NGO Talaweit, which is one of the national NGOs whose registration was revoked. The Wali justified his request due to the humanitarian nature of Talaweit’s projects. Similarly, on 25 November HAC in South Kordofan appealed to the Wali of the state to exempt the national NGO Mubadiroon from decree 47 which revoked its registration amongst 31 other national NGO for their ties to the government of Al-Bashir.