WorldNearly 2,000 tons of food aid looted by an...

Nearly 2,000 tons of food aid looted by an armed group

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An armed group looted nearly 2,000 tonnes of aid from the World Food Program (WFP) in Darfur, western Sudan where one in three people depend on humanitarian aid, an official said on Wednesday. “We are in the process of assessing what was stolen from the hangars which housed around 1,900 tonnes of food products,” said the WFP official in Sudan. Tuesday evening, “around 8 pm, we heard many shootings in the east of Al-Facher”, capital of North Darfur, reported a resident, Mohamed Salem, reached by telephone.

“Humanitarian assistance should never be a target”, denounced in a statement Khardiata Lo N’diaye, number two of the UN mission in the country, calling on Khartoum to “increase efforts to protect humanitarian work” . The state-run Suna news agency reported that a nighttime curfew was imposed on Al-Facher after the attack. The governor of Darfur, Minni Minawi, promised on Twitter that “the perpetrators and accomplices of this crime will be brought to justice”, denouncing a “barbaric act”.

A region regularly victim of clashes

Last week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had already condemned “looting and violence” near a former United Nations logistics base in Al-Facher handed over to local authorities earlier this month. Darfur, a vast region regularly shaken by clashes, in particular caused by territorial disputes or difficulties in accessing water, has experienced a long war which has left at least 300,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced since 2003, according to the UN. For these abuses, the International Criminal Court (ICC) demands that the dictator ousted in 2019, Omar al-Bashir, be tried for “genocide” and crimes against humanity.

The Janjaweed Arab militiamen, sent by the power of Bashir against the various ethnic groups in Darfur, are also accused of “ethnic cleansing” and rape. Since then, thousands of them have been integrated into the Rapid Support Forces (FSR) of General Mohammed Hamdane Daglo, now number two of the highest authority in the transition in Sudan. In addition, several former rebel leaders from Darfur entered post-Bashir power after signing peace with Khartoum in October 2020.

Despite everything, as the military and civilians of the UN-African Union Joint Peace Mission (UNAMID) withdrew after 13 years of mission, tribal clashes and militia attacks again claimed hundreds of victims. dead in 2021, mainly in West Darfur. Nearly 250 civilians have been killed in clashes between herders and farmers in the past three months alone. The UN continues to alert on the damage created by these seasonal clashes to land, water or resources that ravage homes, fields and crops in Darfur, which hosts almost all of the three million displaced in the country.

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