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UN seeks safety assurances after aid trucks looted amid Sudan conflict

The United Nations is seeking assurances from Sudan’s warring factions regarding the safe delivery of aid after six trucks of humanitarian supplies were looted and air strikes in Khartoum undermined a new ceasefire.

Martin Griffiths, the UN aid chief, said from Port Sudan that agreements and arrangements for the movement of staff and supplies are necessary. The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis, forcing around 100,000 people to flee to neighboring countries.

Aid deliveries have been stalled, impacting a nation where about one-third of the 46 million population was already relying on humanitarian assistance. Griffiths mentioned that the World Food Programme had six trucks looted en route to the western region of Darfur, despite assurances of safety and security.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the situation unacceptable, urging for pressure on Sudan’s military leaders to agree on a ceasefire and establish a political dialogue with a transition to a civilian government.

Aid must be allowed into Sudan, and we need secure and immediate access to be able to distribute it to people who need it most.

Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected.

Humanitarian workers and assets must be respected.

They are #NotATarget.

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 3, 2023

Meanwhile, the new seven-day ceasefire has been weakened by ongoing air strikes in the capital, Khartoum. Previous ceasefire agreements were not fully observed, and tens of thousands of people have left the city, fearing both air strikes and the soldiers from the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Many Khartoum neighborhoods are experiencing severe water shortages due to blackouts, fuel shortages, and damage to water supplies. Hospitals and health facilities have also been heavily affected by the conflict.

The power struggle between the army and the RSF erupted in mid-April, and hundreds of people have been killed in the ensuing violence.

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