WFP described the decision taken on safety grounds as a major setback to humanitarian efforts in the country’s breadbasket, where staff had been regularly providing aid to over 800,000 people, including many who had escaped the fighting in Khartoum.
The ongoing fighting makes it extremely challenging for humanitarian agencies to safely deliver assistance, especially with more and more people on the move, fleeing for their lives, the UN agency said.
From refuge to battleground
“A place of refuge has now become a battleground in a war that has already taken a horrific toll on civilians,” said Eddie Rowe, WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan, where the national army and a rival military group known as the Rapid Support Forces have been locked in brutal conflict since April.
Earlier this week, humanitarians reported that all field work within Al Jazirah State had been put on hold until further notice due to the security situation.
“We are committed to supporting the people of Sudan in their hour of greatest need, but the safety of our staff and partners must be guaranteed,” said Mr. Rowe.
He added that teams are working around the clock to provide food aid in locations where it is still possible and resume planned assistance in other areas when conditions allow.
UN official appeals for calm ahead of DR Congo election outcome
The UN Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has called for a peaceful and electoral process as voting got underway on Wednesday.
Bintou Keita urged the Congolese population and political actors to calmly exercise their civic duty and to strictly follow the laws of the country.
She also called on political parties and their candidates to maintain calm while waiting for results to be posted by the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and appealed to them and the general population to avoid unnecessary gatherings around polling stations to prevent the risk of confrontations.
Ms. Keita commended official national election observers for their efforts to ensure a credible process and reiterated the Secretary-General’s ongoing support for the Congolese people in their pursuit of peace, democracy, and stability.
UN peacekeeping chief on solidarity and support visit to the Central African Republic
The head of UN Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, arrived in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Wednesday, marking the start of a three-day visit to the country.
Speaking to media in the capital, Bangui, Mr. Lacroix called his mission a visit of solidarity and support for citizens of CAR.
He is scheduled to meet with the national authorities, civil society, peacekeepers and others, in addition to travelling to the northern city of Birao.
At an event taking place earlier in Bangui, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR, Valentine Rugwabiza, reiterated the Organization’s commitment to continue its partnership with the Special Criminal Court in the country.
The Court was established nearly a decade ago to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes committed during conflicts dating back to 2003.
The UN Mission, known as MINUSCA, is continuing its financial support to the Court’s activities with nearly $5 million until the end of 2024, which the Central African authorities have welcomed.