News / Africa

UN Warehouses In Sudan Looted

UN Warehouses In Sudan Looted
UN Warehouses In Sudan Looted

Several U.N. agencies report their warehouses in Kadugli, the capital of Southern Kordofan state in Sudan, have been looted. The agencies say insecurity is shutting off access to people trapped by the fighting and that only limited humanitarian aid is getting to them.  

The United Nations reports thousands of people in Kadugli have been uprooted by fighting between the forces of north and south Sudan.  Insecurity is hampering the ability of aid agencies to reach and help them.  

The U.N. refugee agency is appealing to authorities in Kadugli, as well as the central Sudanese government to open up air and road access for humanitarian agencies trying to reach the victims.  

Agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says humanitarian flights have not been allowed to land in Kadugli for nearly one week. She says land access also is being hampered by armed militiamen who have set up roadblocks. She says people on the move reportedly are being harassed.

“So, this insecurity means that our operations are severely constrained and we are not even able to reach our warehouse, which is five kilometers away [from Kadugli].   If we could reach it, we could help at least 10,000 of the displaced people," Fleming said.   

A World Health Organization spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, says WHO’s office, warehouse and guest house in Kadugli were looted June 10th.  He says the thieves got away with medical supplies and drugs worth $180,000.

“Additionally, office computers, laptops, office supplies and personal belongings of WHO staff were also stolen from the office and guest house.  There is also no information on the status of three WHO vehicles and communication equipment,” Jasarevic said.  

Jasarevic says this is a big blow to WHO’s efforts to care for people in ill health.  He says two primary health care facilities run by the Sudanese Red Crescent and a local NGO are seeing patients.  Otherwise, he says the city’s hospitals are not functioning.  He says concerns are rising about the outbreak of disease.

World Food Program spokeswoman Emilia Cassela says the agency’s warehouse at the U.N. Mission compound in Kadugli reportedly is being guarded by local authorities.  But, she adds WFP staff does not have access to the food stocks there.

“Our own premises in Kadugli have also been looted and we have lost two vehicles and one motorcycle.  But, our staff are all safe and that is the key to continuing to be able to do our work,” Cassela said.

Fortunately, Cassela says WFP and its partners were able to provide a seven-day supply of food on Monday to 12,000 people in Southern Kordofan.  In the coming days, she says the agency expects to reach another 26,000 people with desperately needed food.  

While this is good, she says this is far below the numbers of people throughout Southern Kordofan who are going hungry, but are out of reach of humanitarian help.

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