WFP halts aid operations in Sudan after 3 staff killed


United Nations’ World Food Programme has temporarily halted all operations in Sudan after its three employees were killed in clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), according to the official statement.
In a statement, Executive Director of the UN agency Cindy McCain, on Sunday, said that all the operations in Sudan have been suspended, pending a review of the evolving security situation. “WFP is committed to assisting the Sudanese people facing dire food insecurity,” said McCain, adding, “but we cannot do our lifesaving work if the safety and security of our teams and partners are not guaranteed. All parties must come to an agreement that ensures the safety of humanitarian workers on the ground and enables the continued delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan. They remain our top priority.”
The Executive Director of the UN agency further stated that any loss of life in humanitarian service is “unacceptable”. She also demanded, “immediate steps to guarantee the safety of those who remain.”
McCain emphasized that threats to WFP teams make it impossible for them to operate safely and effectively in the country and carry out the UN agency’s critical work, as per the statement.
In a separate incident on Saturday, a WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) aircraft was significantly damaged at Khartoum International Airport during an exchange of gunfire, seriously impacting WFP’s ability to move humanitarian workers and aid within the country.
At least 56 people have been killed and nearly 600 injured in the clashes that erupted between Sudan’s military and the country’s main paramilitary force as fierce fighting across Sudan entered the second day following months of tensions, CNN reported.
Eyewitnesses in the capital city of Khartoum told CNN that fighting intensified after Sunday morning prayers, with loud noises and explosions heard throughout the night. There have also been reports of battles hundreds of miles away in the eastern city of Port Sudan.
CNN reported that at least 56 people have been killed and nearly 600 injured in the clashes, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.
Sudan’s paramilitary chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo claims to have seized most of Khartoum’s official sites after clashes erupted between his armed group and the country’s military on Saturday.
“The Rapid Support Forces control more than 90 per cent of strategic sites in Khartoum,” Dagalo said in an interview with Sky News Arabia, referring to his group.General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the country’s military leader disputed Dagalo’s claims and said the military has maintained control over government sites.