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Expelled by Sudan, UN's Freijsen Says Goodbye, Muhammad Ali Quote

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 -- Just as the World Humanitarian Summit began in Turkey on May 22, Sudan de facto expelled the Head of Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ivo Freijsen. Now two weeks later, Freijsen has written his farewell letter, including a quote from Muhammad Ali, which Inner City Press exclusively publishes here:

"Dear HCT, ISCG, and HDWG colleagues,

As most of you will be aware, my tenure in Sudan has come to an end. Through this message I want to convey my sincere thanks to you all for the collaboration in recent years...

Jean Verheyden will serve as Officer-in-Charge at OCHA Sudan for the time being. I would like to thank you in advance for extending to him and the wider OCHA team your continued support and collaboration. Signs are that cohesion and unity within our ranks will continue to be key during the upcoming period.

As part of my wrapping up, I want to leave behind two quotes you may find interesting. They sum up well the way I think humanitarian action needs to be approached:

"Doing the right thing is never easy, but we need to continue to try" (this is what a leading humanitarian shared with me several years ago after also his mission had come to a premature end).

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life" (quote from the iconic anti-war hero and legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali who sadly passed away this weekend. May his soul rest in peace).

I wish you all the very best in your ongoing and future humanitarian endeavors. Stay safe, stay well.

Ramadan Kariem, and kind regards, Ivo


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