Sudan Releases Blocked Supplies for Peacekeepers in Darfur
Sudan has started to release blocked supplies for peacekeepers in Darfur, according to the United Nations.
Hundreds of containers carrying food rations and other supplies for UNAMID peacekeeping troops had been blocked at Port Sudan for a week. But now the first batch has been released and the remainder are expected to be cleared for delivery soon.
Sudan’s strained relationship with the UN
It’s the latest example of the strained relationship between Sudan and the United Nations. Last week the UN and Britain condemned the country’s actions which meant vital supplies were unable to reach almost 20,000 troops, who are posted to protect civilians in the Darfur region.
The UN estimates up to 300,000 have been killed since the Darfur conflict began in 2003, with millions more having been displaced. While the conflict had shown signs of easing in recent years, cases of insurgency are still common and Sudan has stepped up its attacks on rebel groups over the last year.
UNAMID peacekeepers began operations in the region in 2007, in order to protect the lives of civilians and provide aid to people in the area.
Sudan accuses the UNAMID
Sudan’s UN Ambassador, Omer Dahab Mohamed, has justified the holding of supplies, claiming UNAMID didn’t have clearance for the shipment. Speaking to Reuters, he claimed UNAMID chief Abiodun Bashua had “intentionally ignored and surpassed” numerous agreements for dealing with containers and other issues.
Mohamed claimed UNAMID had delivered “incomplete and out-of context information which led to bringing the issue to the highest political organ of the UN, the Security Council.”
UN peacekeeping officials have rejected these allegations, insisting all procedures had been properly followed in regards to the shipment in question and other disagreements that have been raised – including the issuance of visas.