UN agency deplores killing of staffer in Sudan's South Kordofan state

WFP food assistance being offloaded from a truck at a distribution site in the South Kordofan capital Kadugli. Photo: WFP/Mohamed Abdalla

5 August 2012 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Sunday condemned the killing of one its drivers in a fatal attack in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan, where ongoing conflict continues to hinder efforts to deliver vital humanitarian aid.

Jamal Al Fadil Farag Allah, a 56-year-old Sudanese national, was killed in an armed attack on Saturday near Hilat Yatu, some 80 kilometres north of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state, according to a news release issued by the Rome-based agency.

Jamal, who worked with WFP since 2005, leaves behind a wife and five children. He was driving fellow staff member Saad Yousif when their vehicle was attacked by two unknown assailants. Saad survived and is currently receiving medical attention.

“It is unacceptable for humanitarian workers to face attacks while they are working on the frontlines of hunger in countries like Sudan,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.

Sudan remains one of WFP's most challenging and complex operations. In February this year, a convoy of five WFP trucks was hijacked in the Darfur region, while in March, a WFP logistician was abducted in there and was released after 86 days in captivity.

“These UN staff members were dedicated to helping the people of South Kordofan and it is tragic that they have had to risk their lives to do so,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Pamela DeLargy. “Attacks such as this put at jeopardy the humanitarian, recovery and development support so badly needed by the people of South Kordofan. Our heartfelt sympathies are with the family of our dear colleague who was killed in the attack. And we wish our wounded colleague a rapid recovery from his wounds.”

Last Thursday, the WFP sub-office in Kutum, North Darfur, was attacked and looted by a group of armed men.

WFP said that the ongoing conflict in South Kordofan, which began in June 2011, has severely hampered the agency's ability to provide an estimated 500,000 people with much-needed food assistance.


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