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Darfur: Attacks Targeted at Humanitarian Organizations Deprive 130,000 of Aid

Violence Results in Evacuation, Aid Suspension

During the night of Monday, December 18, the base run by Action Against Hunger | ACF International as well as bases managed by other humanitarian organizations were violently attacked. Following this vicious incident, all 23 of Action Against Hunger’s workers in the area were evacuated and their assistance to the Sudanese people cut off. Approximately 130,000 Sudanese, dependent on Action Against Hunger for their food, will be without any assistance for an indeterminate period.

On Monday, December 18, around 8pm, Action Against Hunger’s base in Gereida, located in the south of Darfur was attacked by unidentified armed men. 4 expatriates and 19 national staffs were at the base at the time of the attack. Although they are now safe, all ACF’s equipment was stolen (cars, computers, radios, phones…). A few hours later, troops from the African Union (A.U) intervened in order to evacuate the 23 humanitarian workers from Action Against Hunger, as well as those from other NGOs who underwent the same attack. All humanitarian programs in Gereida have been suspended, as well as those of other NGOs working in the area. Therefore, all 130 000 displaced people living in the camp in Gereida – the biggest displaced people camp in the world – are now almost abandoned, deprived of any humanitarian assistance. Yet the people living in this isolated area have no other way to survive.

This incident is extremely serious, unacceptable, and has severe consequences:

  • The attacks were targeting and organized against NGOs (the rest of the city was not attacked).
  • Security incidents are more and more frequent in Darfur. Although, they usually happen in “grey” or more unstable areas, while Gereida was until now an area in which security was insured by local authorities. This incident is therefore extremely worrying for the future of the humanitarian aid in Darfur. Action Against Hunger is trying to find out as soon as possible who was responsible for these attacks and if it will be possible to come back safely in the area.
  • 130,000 people have been cut off from nearly all humanitarian assistance since Tuesday. Action Against Hunger distributed foodevery month to these 130 000 people and was about to take overlarge-scale nutritional programs in the area.
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