Girayda — Sheikhs of the camps for the displaced In Girayda locality in South Darfur have met with the local security authorities as part of an investigation into alleged theft of food by government staff. One of the sheiks told Radio Dabanga that the sheiks went to the security offices on Thursday to charge and investigate staff of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).
The sheikhs allege that HAC staff have stolen food - supplied to them by the World Food Programme and destined for distribution to the displaced - and sold it in the markets.
"The security authorities deny that the HAC staff have stolen the food," the sheikh said, who further alleged: "Elements of the security forces have demanded SDG40,000 ($9,000) from each sheikh for 'transport costs'."
He said they justified levying the charge because the direct road from state capital Nyala to Girayda is often blocked due to the security situation, so supplies must be delivered via a roundabout route.
Still in Girayda, an activist told Radio Dabanga that 30 camps are facing an acute shortage of food. He said that no food was distributed to the displaced from April to June. "They were provided with a little food in July, but had to go without any rations during the holy month of Ramadan," the activist claims.
Again due to the precarious security situation on the Nyala-Girayda road, the source said "the organisations asked the displaced to pay the additional transport costs, but the displaced are destitute and do not have much money."
He appealed to humanitarian organisations to expedite the delivery. "Many on on the brink of starvation," he said.
In Central Darfur, the displaced at camps in Bindisi locality are protesting a decision by the locality's commissioner to move grain storage silos from the camps to the commissioner's headquarters in Bundisi city.
A sheikh told Radio Dabanga that the displaced base their objections of the security situation. "The displaced must be able to collect their food rations from within the camps. If the silos are moved into the town, it will mean that they must travel between the camps and the city to collect their rations. This will make them vulnerable to attack from the militiamen who regularly intimidate, and terrorise them," he said.
"However, the commissioner has threatened to arrest and sheikh or citizen who resists the moving of the silos," he concluded, appealing to the World Food Programme (WFP) not to cooperate with the commissioner's decision.