UN threatens to suspend food aid to Darfur

September 8th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Khartoum (Sudan), Sep 8 (DPA) The UN 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,” said 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 added.

The WFP said more than 100 vehicles containing food aid had been seized by raiders since the start of the year and 69 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 the WFP’s 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. Khartoum has been accused of using the Janjaweed militia to commit atrocities against Darfur’s black population and suppress the rebels.

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