27 April 08 - UNAMID Strongly Condemns Recent Killing of a WFP Driver in Darfur

1 Dec 2008

27 April 08 - UNAMID Strongly Condemns Recent Killing of a WFP Driver in Darfur

Press Statement No 29 -  27 April 2008

UNAMID Strongly Condemns Recent Killing of a WFP Driver in Darfur

El Fasher, 27 April 2008 --- UNAMID is deeply shocked and profoundly disturbed by the cold-blooded murder of Mohammed Makki El Rasheed, a truck driver working for United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday 21 April 2008. The perpetrators killed Mr. Makki after he had returned to repair his vehicle that had broken down between North and South Darfur while it was on a police-escorted WFP convoy carrying food relief. The perpetrators also injured a security guard accompanying Mr. Makki.

This brutal murder, the second of its kind in two months, comes when UNAMID and the international community are extremely concerned by the deteriorating banditry situation that led to the recent WFP announcement on cutting down the monthly ration in Darfur.

UNAMID is deeply saddened and outraged and strongly condemns such attacks on humanitarian aid workers and convoys and urge all parties concerned to join it in calling for an immediate end to such attacks. The mission also urges the local authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

UNAMID has repeatedly called on the parties to the Darfur conflict to do everything in their power to ensure the safe passage of relief supplies to the Darfurian people affected by the conflict in order to help alleviate their suffering.

Criminality and banditry in Darfur have resulted in sixty WFP contracted trucks and six passenger vehicles hijacked since the start of the year, with 39 trucks still missing, 26 drivers unaccounted for and two drivers killed. Bandits have also stolen a total of 709 metric tons of food.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports a total 113 hijackings of humanitarian vehicles (including WFP contracted vehicles), 10 attacks on convoys and 46 armed assaults against humanitarian and UN compounds. Seven humanitarian staff have been killed (including two WFP contract drivers) and eight injured. There are almost 14,000 humanitarian workers currently in Darfur.

For further information, please contact:

Noureddine Mezni
UNAMID Spokesperson
Tel. +249 (0)912174276
n.mezni@un.org , n.mezni@yahoo.fr