International Red Cross and Red Crescent
The Red Cross Movement’s effort in Darfur is carried out by three entities.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) use sticks and scraps of plastic to construct makeshift shelters at transit camp in South Darfur

During 2006 and 2007, the ICRC, along with its Movement partners, conducted its largest humanitarian operation worldwide in Darfur. The ICRC gave assistance to more than 300,000 people affected by the conflict in Darfur by providing food aid, water supplies, and health care, as well as agricultural tools and seeds to help people maintain self-sufficiency. The ICRC is one of the few humanitarian organizations that has operations in both the refugee camps and in rural areas outside of the camps where civilians are still in danger. It reaches agreements with the many other relief agencies, both public and private, establishing who will do what, and where.

One of the reasons the ICRC is able to operate outside the refugee camps is because of its strict neutrality, as well as its defined role as the promoter and custodian of international humanitarian law. In Darfur, the ICRC maintained a dialogue with all the parties involved in the conflict, while reminding them of their obligations under international humanitarian law to make certain that civilians are protected.

A Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rebel soldier

However, as of 2007, the rebel factions in particular had subdivided into even more groups. These groups often took on the characteristics of bandits rather than political groupings, making the security situation worse for humanitarian agencies, including the ICRC, as well as for international peacekeepers. Sometimes the ICRC, like the other relief agencies, had to withdraw from certain areas because the security of its personnel could not be guaranteed with the various armed groups.

What should the International Red Cross and Red Crescent and other relief agencies do when faced with forces who are acting more like criminals than soldiers?

What role can non-government entities, such as the IRCRC, play in protecting human rights?

American Red Cross
American Red Cross Introduction to Humanitarian Law
ICRC: Sudan: Responding to a complex humanitarian crisis
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
US Agency for International Development: Sudan

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