Bandits Badger Darfur Food Deliveries

The people of Darfur have been confronted with ongoing harassment and brutality on the part of the Sudan government and its janjaweed mercenaries, but a new impediment has arisen in the form of gangs of bandits who steal food being sent to the area. The World Food Program(WFP) has been forced to halve food deliveries in Darfur due to the actions of hijackers and thieves. Kenro Oshidari, WFP repesentative, commented: “This is an unprecedented situation. Our humanitarian operatioon for aid workers could be forced to stop flying because we have no money at a time when our helicopters and aircraft are needed because of high insecurity on the roads.”

So far this year hijckers have attacked five WFP pasengeer vehicles and 45 trucks. If the WFP cannot maintain deliveries it will be compelled to half the amount of food being given people. The cost of the program is about $6 million a month, an amount that probably equals what is spent in a few hours in Iraq. There is something tragic is not being able to secure a few helicopters. No, not sad, tragic.