A World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in North Darfur state capital El Fasher was attacked by unknown armed groups who stole thousands of tonnes of food.
More than 1 900 tonnes of food commodities meant to feed 730,000 vulnerable people for a month were stolen, the United Nations said of the looting hard on the heels of a similar attack on the former UN-AU hybrid operation (Unamid) base in El Fasher.
South African soldiers and other military personnel were earlier part of Unamid.In a statement UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the Sudan government to restore order. He said the authorities in Khartoum must ensure former Unamid property and assets are strictly used for civilians in conformity with a March framework agreement.
The UN chief asked Sudanese authorities to facilitate a safe working environment and passage for remaining UN operations in the region.
WFP chief David Beasley tweeted outrage over “senseless attacks” in El Fasher strongly condemning continued looting and destruction of the agency’s assets. “We have been forced to suspend WFP operations in North Darfur, effective immediately,” he said.
The theft robbed close to two million Sudanese of desperately needed food and nutritional support.
“Not only is this a major setback to WFP operations, it endangers our staff and jeopardises our ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable,” Beasley said.
Currently, one in three people in Sudan needs humanitarian assistance, which translates to estimated 14 million people.
According to the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, 25 per cent of this population needs food security and livelihood support.
Last month, thousands of people took to the streets to mark the third anniversary of the uprising that led to the April 2019 overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled for three decades.
- A Tell report