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Sudan accused of withholding Unamid supplies

October 15 - 2015 NEW YORK
Burkina Fasso patrol troops escort a Unamid convoy in Foro Baranga, West Darfur, 4 October 2015 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Burkina Fasso patrol troops escort a Unamid convoy in Foro Baranga, West Darfur, 4 October 2015 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

On Wednesday, the UN and Britain have accused the Sudanese government of refusing to release food rations and other essential supplies for Unamid staff in Darfur.

Britain's UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said he was planning to raise the issue of the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid) during the meeting of the UN Security Council on unrelated issues, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

“We are very worried that the Government of Sudan is preventing Unamid from doing its job, specifically they are holding up crucial rations and other supplies in Port Sudan that are destined to go to the Unamid troops," Rycroft told reporters on the way into the Council chamber.

“They are not complying with their obligations to support Unamid,” he said, and added that representatives of the Sudanese government have denied knowledge of the rations being withheld at Port Sudan.

The British Ambassador warned that if the supplies are not released quickly, Unamid will have to make alternative arrangements which would increase the monthly cost for delivering such supplies to the peacekeeping mission from $3 million to around $13 million.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the delay involves around 190 containers with food rations and also a few containers with what he described as “operational supplies”.

"It's important to note that the current food ration level in the mission's area is of great concern to us," Dujarric said. “We urge the government of Sudan to release the containers immediately.” He noted that UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous was currently briefing the Security Council about the problem.

Relations between Khartoum and Unamid have never been good, but rapidly deteriorated when Khartoum ordered Unamid to leave Sudan after it began investigating the reported mass rape by Sudanese soldiers in Tabit, North Darfur. The Sudanese government categorically denies any wrongdoing by either its army or militias.

(Source: Louis Charbonneau/Reuters)


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