10 April 2008

Sudan: Two More Transport Workers Murdered Delivering UN Food Aid

A truck driver and his assistant been murdered delivering food aid in Southern Sudan, bringing to five the number of people killed in attacks on transports of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Sudan in less than three weeks, the agency announced today.

Hamid Dafaalla, 47, a father of four, was shot dead by unknown assailants while returning from a food delivery to the town of Rumbek on Monday, 7 April. His assistant was shot while trying to flee.

"We are shocked and saddened by this heartless killing," WFP Sudan Deputy-Director Ebenezer Tagoe said, calling attacks against vehicles delivering humanitarian assistance "completely unacceptable."

"We have met representatives of the Government of Southern Sudan and they have promised a full investigation," he reported.

The attack occurred six kilometres from Mayom in Unity State, not far from where two WFP-contracted drivers were stabbed to death on 22 March. Another contracted driver was shot dead two days later and his assistant injured while delivering food to Nyala in South Darfur.

WFP said that attacks have slowed food deliveries in violence-torn Darfur, where it is feeding over two million internally displaced persons and refugees.

In Southern Sudan, the killings jeopardize the ability of the agency to provide food to people returning home after the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) ended the long-running north-south civil war, and threatens the pre-positioning of food assistance ahead of the May rainy season.

Since the start of the year there were 60 hijackings of trucks in Darfur, with 42 trucks missing and 29 drivers unaccounted for, in addition to the recent killings, the agency said.

Copyright © 2008 UN News Service. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.