Hundreds of thousands left without critical medical aid The Government of Sudan has today informed the international organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) that they are expelled from areas of South Darfur, Sudan. This follows a previous order, issued on March 2, for MSF to remove all international staff from a number of project sites in Darfur. The organization is outraged at the decision, which leaves more than 200,000 of our patients without essential medical care. MSF was summoned to meet with the authorities shortly after the ICC announcement regarding the indictment of President Omar el-Bashir and told that it must cease all activities and prepare staff for immediate departure from the country. No further explanation for the decision was given. MSF runs medical activities in three sites in West and South Darfur, in the areas of Kalma, Muhajariya and Feina. This expulsion comes at a time when meningitis, a deadly disease if left untreated, has broken out in Kalma Camp, temporary home to more than 90,000 internally displaced persons. It also leaves an estimated 70,000 people without any access to healthcare in Muhajariya, due to the closure of the area’s only hospital, and forces the closure of health clinics in and around Feina, where MSF treats an average of 3,000 people each month. MSF firmly reiterates that the organization is completely independent of the ICC, and that MSF does not cooperate or provide any information to it. “It is absurd that we as an independent and impartial organization have been caught up in a political and judicial process,” says Arjan Hehenkamp, MSF operational director. “MSF has worked tirelessly to deliver medical aid to the people of Darfur since the beginning of the crisis. It is completely unacceptable that the people of Darfur are being deprived of essential medical care.” MSF continues to work in a number of other locations throughout Darfur.