Attacks against aid workers in western Sudan have reached unprecedented levels, jeopardizing vital relief operations in the war-wracked Darfur region, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said on Wednesday.
In a statement released in Khartoum by her office, Ameerah Haq said the humanitarian community operating in Sudan condemned all acts of violence taking place in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied militia since 2003.
The statement released by the UN Information Centre in Accra said on Monday Moha med Ali, a driver contracted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), was shot dead and his assistant was seriously injured by unidentified assailants while travelling on the main route into Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state.
That attack followed the deadly stabbing of two other WFP-contracted drivers at the weekend in Unity state in southern Sudan, and this is only the latest in a string of hijackings, abductions and killings in the country and particularly in Darfur.
Ms. Haq’s office said the humanitarian community called for an end to all attacks, the immediate release of those who had been abducted and no impunity for those people who target aid workers anywhere in Sudan.
More than 200,000 people have been killed in the past five years in Darfur and at least 2.2 million others forced to flee their homes because of the fighting, the inter-tribal clashes and the attacks by bandits.
Earlier this year a hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping mission known as UNAMID was deployed to try to quell the suffering and violence but so far only about 9,000 uniformed personnel are in place, well below the 26,000 expected when the operation reaches full capacity.