UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SUDAN: Concern after Bahr el Ghazal villages bombed
NAIROBI, 17 May (IRIN) - Successive bombings of the Bahr el Ghazal villages of Akak on Sunday and Nyamlell on Monday have provoked concern among humanitarian agencies working in the area.
Humanitarian agencies told IRIN on Monday 24 bombs were dropped in Akak and another six a few kilometres from Nyamlell. In the former incident a 10-year-old girl died and a boy was injured. "It is not yet known how many more were injured," a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme told IRIN on Monday. Observers, cited by news organisations, attributed the bombings to Sudanese government forces.
WFP noted the incident had occurred at the "leanest" time of the year, when local communities are using up their food reserves as they await the next season.
An assessment of the area in April indicated that Akak needed continued emergency food aid as it recovered from last year's famine. WFP staff in the area had reported that prior to the Akak incident, they had heard sounds of heavy artillery, and an overall "tense environment" had dissuaded people from showing up for planned food distributions.
The spokeswoman said WFP was "alarmed" by these incidents, "particularly at this time when people across Sudan need a peaceful environment to cultivate for the next season". "A good harvest would reduce the need for relief food," she noted.
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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