WFP: Attacks threaten Darfur food aid

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has threatened to suspend deliveries of food aid to Sudan’s Darfur province after a string of attacks on its convoys.

“Repeated and targeted attacks on food convoys are making it extraordinarily difficult and dangerous for us to feed hungry people,” Monika Midel, WFP’s deputy representative in Sudan, said in a statement.

“Should these attacks continue, the situation will become intolerable, to the point that we will have to suspend operations in some areas of Darfur,” she continued.

The WFP said more than 100 vehicles containing food aid had been seized since the start of the year, with the raiders often opening fire. Sixty-nine trucks and 43 drivers remain missing.

Food rations have been cut as a result of the attacks, the WFP said.

In July, 50 000 people received no supplies due to the insecurity, while WFP partner German Agro Action in late August suspended deliveries to 450 000 people in North Darfur, the WFP said.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when black tribesmen took up arms against what they call decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab-dominated Sudanese government in Khartoum.

The UN says up to 300 000 people have been killed and 2,5-million displaced by five years of conflict.

A faction of the Sudan Liberation Army and the Sudanese government signed the Darfur Peace Agreement in May 2006, but fighting has continued.—Sapa-dpa

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