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Obama wants NGOs back in Sudan

US President Barack Obama said he hopes to find a way for aid and humanitarian workers to resume their work in Sudan, after meeting at the White House with his special envoy to the war-torn African country.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2009 08:35 IST

President Barack Obama said he hopes to find a way for aid and humanitarian workers to resume their work in Sudan, after meeting at the White House with his special envoy to the war-torn African country.

"We have to figure out a mechanism to get those NGOs back in place, to reverse that decision, or to find some mechanism whereby we avert a enormous humanitarian crisis," Obama said yesterday after meeting with his special envoy to Sudan, retired air force general Scott Gration.

Gration is scheduled to arrive in Khartoum in the middle of the week on his first official visit to Sudan since Obama named him to the post earlier this month, the White House said on Monday.

Gration was nominated as Washington increases pressure on Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir following his expulsion of international aid groups from Darfur that worsened the humanitarian crisis.

The expulsion came days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Beshir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out during the six-year conflict in Darfur.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday repeated United Nations calls on Sudan to reverse its decision to expel the 13 aid groups from war-ravaged Darfur.