Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Truck Hijackings Imperil Darfur Food Aid

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — A surge of truck hijackings threatens to cut off food rations for more than 2 million people in Darfur, the World Food Program said Wednesday, after 22 of its vehicles were attacked and stolen this month alone.

With 18 drivers still missing, the U.N. agency said its main contracting companies refuse to send more food convoys into Darfur.

"If the situation continues, we'll be forced to cut rations in parts of Darfur by mid-February," Kenro Oshidari, the head of WFP operations in Sudan, said in a statement.

The increase in violence comes barely three weeks after the United Nations took over peacekeeping in the remote region of western Sudan where 2.5 million people have been chased into refugee camps by five years of war.

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