- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

U.N. suspends Sudan food convoys

The U.N. World Food Program suspended food convoys to the Darfur region in western Sudan after rebel forces attacked a market town and the government retaliated, U.N. humanitarian officials said.

Rebels attacked the market town of Ghubaysh, prompting the U.N. to halt 210 trucks carrying millions of tons of food to people in the Darfur region, AP reported.

Due to the canceling of the U.N. convoys, some 260,000 people will go without their monthly rations in South Darfur as well as eastern parts of West Darfur.

On December 19, the Sudanese government and Sudanese Liberation Army rebels agreed to an immediate cessation of hostilities but the area has been wracked by insecurity and two larger-scale attacks. The renewed conflict has effectively blocked overland access from central Sudan to the Darfur region for the U.N. and other aid agencies.

There have also been reports that rebels stole 13 trucks filled with humanitarian aid during the past two weeks. Reports indicate the rebels may be using the humanitarian vehicles for military purposes.

Disease and famine have killed 70,000 in Darfur since March, the World Health Organization says, and 1.8 million people have fled their homes.