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UN Says Shaky Security in Darfur Hinders Humanitarian Aid

  • Noel King

The United Nations reports banditry, looting and fighting in Sudan's western Darfur region have disrupted the distribution of humanitarian aid. At a news conference in Khartoum Wednesday, a U.N. official said there have been 10 serious attacks on humanitarian aid convoys reported in the past 30 days.

The spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, Radhia Achouri, says attacks on relief workers in western and northern Darfur have delayed humanitarian aid.

"The security situation in Darfur remains volatile with many reports on continuing banditry, alleged attacks on villages and looting and reports on fighting in and around the Jabal Moon area," she said "The situation in west Darfur is of particular concern following a series of attacks on international NGO (non-governmental organizations) convoys. Efforts are expected from government authorities to improve the operating environment for humanitarian work in the area."

Last Thursday an aid convoy with a party of seven vehicles and 21 workers was attacked while traveling to the western city Darfur city of Geneina. Seventeen of the aid workers were beaten and suffered injuries. In a second attack a convoy of three humanitarian vehicles was attacked near Geneina and the workers were robbed.

U.N. Deputy Special Representative for humanitarian affairs and development, Manuel Aranda da Silva, traveled to Darfur Monday for talks with Sudan's government, the African Union and aid workers, in an effort to bring violence in Darfur under control.

The two-and-a-half years of fighting between Darfur rebels on the one side and Sudan military aided by Arab marauders has claimed more than 180,000 lives. Two million more have been displaced by the fighting in what the United Nations considers as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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