Violence Hampering Aid Deliveries in Mountainous Part of Darfur, UN Official Says

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–19 April 2010 – Increasing violence has cut off aid deliveries to the mountainous area of Darfur and the living situation for the estimated 100,000 people there will worsen as the dry season comes to an end, the top United Nations humanitarian official in Sudan warned today.

“Our operations have been on hold for some weeks while we have been trying to reach civilians in the highlands to assess the humanitarian situation and provide any relief that might be necessary,” said Georg Charpentier, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan.

Clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the so-called Abdel Wahid faction of the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA-AW) in the eastern Jebel Marra reg ion, is preventing aid agencies from delivering supplies of food, water, and medicines, which they have been distributing there over the past five years.

“As we approach the end of the dry season and water becomes scarcer, it becomes more urgent to gain access to all civilians who are living in difficult circumstances,” Mr. Charpentier added.

Sudan, Africa’s largest country, is recovering from a decades-long civil war which pitted the north against the southern half, in addition to the separate violence in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

The joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is trying to subdue a seven-year conflict between the Government and rebels that has killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes.

UN agencies and partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working closely with line ministries and other authorities throughout Darfur to support the needs of the population, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said in a statement today.