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Three Sudanese aid workers killed in Blue Nile

February 9 - 2015 ED DAMAZIN / KURMUK
A worker of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (UNOCHA)
A worker of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (UNOCHA)

Two Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) employees and a volunteer were killed, and another volunteer was wounded, in an armed attack in the war-torn Blue Nile state on Sunday evening. It is as yet unclear who is responsible for the attack. The SRCS, the UNRHC in Sudan, and the Sudanese Humanitarian Affairs Commission (HAC) strongly condemned the killing.

The SRCS reported in a press statement today that the victims were attacked while they were returning from El Kurmuk town to Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile state, “after performing a humanitarian mission regarding the distribution of relief materials to the needy in the town”. Kurmuk lies in the southern part of Blue Nile state, on the border with Ethiopia.

“The volunteers were on their way to Ed Damazin to prepare for the distribution of relief materials in Bau locality,” the press statement reads. “They were riding in a Red Crescent vehicle that was clearly marked by the SRCS emblem. [...] The attack constitutes a breach of International Humanitarian Law, and the laws of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.”

The Society offered its condolences to the families of the victims, Mahmoud Younes and Tamim Ahmed Mohamed, aid workers, and Hadi Ibrahim, driver. It wishes Hamed Uloum, the injured volunteer, a speedy recovery.

The SRCS furthermore emphasised its neutrality in “providing humanitarian aid, promoting human dignity and a culture of peace to vulnerable communities in all states of Sudan”.

In 2014, the Red Crescent Society distributed 4333.131 tons of food stuffs to vulnerable people in the localities of Kurmuk, El Roseiris, Bau, and El Tadamon in Blue Nile state.

UNRHC

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. in Sudan, Adnan Khan, said that the victims were part of a team monitoring the distribution of food assistance provided by the UN in Kurmuk locality, in a press release issued today.

“My deepest condolences go to the family and friends of those killed,” said Khan. “I wish quick recovery for the injured staff member of SRCS.

“Attacks on clearly marked humanitarian aid vehicles jeopardise the delivery of relief assistance and constitute a violation of the International Humanitarian Law,” Khan concluded.

‘Armed movements’

Ahmed Mohamed Adam, head of HAC, denounced the attack in a statement late on Sunday. He did not say how the workers were killed, but alluded to rebel forces in the region. “The Commission calls on the armed movements to respect the International Humanitarian Law and the principle of the protection of aid workers."

The Sudanese military could not be reached for comment by AFP, and leaders of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), battling the Sudanese army forces in the region, said they did not have any information on the incident.

The Sudanese government has severely limited the activities of international relief organisations in areas controlled by the SPLM-N in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since fighting erupted in 2011.


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