Darfur: Doctors Without Borders volunteers arrested

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is protesting the arrest of a second representative in Sudan. Vincent Hoedt, a Dutch national and regional coordinator for MSF in Darfur, was arrested May 31 in Nyala. A day earlier, MSF’s head of mission Paul Foreman was arrested in Khartoum and later released on bail. “These arrests are totally unacceptable,” said Geoff Prescott, general director of MSF in Amsterdam. “The government is punishing humanitarian aid workers for doing their job for victims of the conflict in Darfur.”

The Sudanese authorities accused MSF of crimes against the state, publishing false reports, spying and undermining Sudanese society. MSF demands that all charges are dropped.

MSF has been working for more than 20 years in Sudan, providing health care and emergency aid to millions of Sudanese civilians. MSF works in over 29 locations in Darfur with 180 expatriate and 3,000 national staff. In the last 12 months in Darfur alone, MSF has provided almost a million medical consultations and treated more than 50,000 children suffering from malnutrition. MSF is working throughout Sudan, bringing medical care to Sudanese afflicted by epidemics and conflict.

Paul Foreman, 45 of the UK, has worked for MSF since 2002. He has worked as head of mission for MSF in Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, and Iraq. Vincent Hoedt, 35 of the Netherlands, has worked for MSF since 1996 in Colombia, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Zambia, Albania, and Nigeria. (Medical News Today, June 1)

See also our last post and most recent special report on Darfur.