Nearly a quarter of a million people in Sudan’s Darfur region cannot access U.N. food rations due to fighting, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
The United Nations food agency, which aims to reach 3 million people in the violent region each month, delivered food to about 2.8 million people in September, a spokeswoman said.
Four aid workers were attacked in Sudan’s Darfur region, beaten and given death threats, an official from the Medecins Sans Frontieres medical organisation said on Tuesday.
The MSF France team was attacked by around a dozen masked, armed men on a road between Zalingei and Nertiti near the violent central Jabel Marra region in Darfur on Sept. 11.
Three Sudanese staff were beaten and one international female staff was sexually harassed, MSF deputy head of mission Marc Galinier said.
“They (the attackers) said we don’t want any foreigners here,” Galinier told Reuters. He said MSF France had limited its movement in the area since the attack.
“These attacks have become more and more frequent in recent months and have the effect of limiting humanitarian access,” he said. “The humanitarian community take enormous risks.”
Violence against women and children by warring groups in Darfur is reaching alarming levels. Extreme violence has been a feature of the civil conflict since it erupted in 2003. However, in the past months, attacks on women and girls, both within and outside camps for the displaced, have soared.
The rising rate of violence against women and children is increased by the participation of many different groups in these crimes. Warring parties seeking retribution against their opponents by inflicting humiliating punishment on civilians are flagrantly disregarding their obligations under international law. Moreover, there is scant evidence that culprits are being actively sought, let alone punished, for their crimes.
As cooper pointed out in her quickie blog Violence Against Women is now a Human RIghts Violation.
For most of us it already was.