- The UN food agency, World Food Programme on Tuesday announced that three
of its contracted truck drivers were shot dead in Sudan's Darfur region.
The WFP said on Monday unknown gunmen killed a truck driver on the main route to the capital of South Darfur, Nyala. The attackers also inflicted serious injuries on the driver's assistant.
Monday's incident followed that of Saturday when two drivers were stabbed to death in the town of Abiemnon in Unity State while on their way to deliver supplies to the oil-rich Abyei.
Hamed Abdulla Sharif, 45, and Hamed Ibrahim Digel, 56, had been murdered by six assailants on a riverbank.
Kenro Oshidari - who represented WFP in Sudan - said the incidents were both "shocking and saddening." He wondered why innocent truckers endeavouring to humanitarian assistance would become victims of daily acts of violence, urging a stop to the attacks.
"This situation is completely unacceptable. Drivers who are delivering WFP humanitarian assistance and our contracted trucking companies are facing daily acts of violence," Oshidari said.
Escalating banditry had scared truckers to deliver supplies in Darfur, resulting to a sharp decline in deliveries in recent times.
This year alone, 56 WFP contracted trucks had been hijacked. As a result, 36 trucks remain missing while 24 drivers could not be accounted for.
The previous WFP-related killings were in October after three contracted drivers were murdered while transporting food to Darfur, the war-torn and desperately poor western region of Sudan.
Over the months, delivery of food supplies in the region had been affected by bloody attacks. In most cases, the assailants killed truck drivers, denying more than two million Darfuris humanitarian assistance.
The UN food agency provides food assistance to people to their home communities of Abeyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Their return followed the signing of the 2005 comprehensive accord ending the 21-year bloody conflict between North and South Sudan.
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