The United States and several other members of the U.N. Security Council urged Sudan on Friday to reverse its decision to expel 13 foreign aid groups, but Khartoum’s envoy said Sudan would never back down.

Sudan ordered the aid agencies out of Darfur after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir earlier this month over alleged war crimes in the western region. Sudan, which does not recognize the ICC, rejects the charge.

“We urge the international community to press the government of Sudan to reverse its expulsion edict and to ensure it does nothing to worsen an already grave situation,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told the 15-nation Security Council.

Rice said Bashir deserved most of the blame.

“President Bashir created this crisis,” she said. “He should rectify it immediately.”

Rice urged the council to unite to help the people of Darfur. As expected, the council took no action during the meeting but will return to the issue next week.

Without giving details, Rice told reporters after the meeting that Washington was consulting with council members and other U.N. member states on “appropriate next steps.”

British, Austrian, Ugandan and several other envoys also appealed to Khartoum to rethink its position. They cited a bleak report on the humanitarian situation in Darfur from a senior U.N. humanitarian affairs official, Rashid Khalikov.



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