The World Food Programme (WFP) has suspended
its activities in some parts of Western Equatoria
State following attacks by the notorious
Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA).
Earlier this week the WFP reported that
the Ugandan rebels attacked Ezo district,
in the remote Western Equatoria state
near Sudan's border with the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC),
and killed two people and
injured three others,
on August 12. The LRA also abducted
10 girls from a local church, and they
pillaged and torched homes, stealing food.
In a press briefing held on Sunday
in Khartoum, Mr. Kenro Oshidari,
WFP Representative in Sudan told
reporters that following LRA rebels on
their teams in Ezo, the UN food
assistance body evacuated its workers
and suspended their humanitarian
activities there as result of
the increasing violence there.
"On 13 August, as a result of the intensifying
LRA attacks, the UN was forced to suspend
all humanitarian activities in the area,
and 29 humanitarian workers, including
seven UNHCR staff, were
evacuated by helicopter,"
the UNHCR announced from
Geneva on August 21.
The recent LRA attacks have triggered
widespread panic and fear in the area
bordering the DRC and the Central
African Republic (CAR), he said.
Most of those on the run have already
been uprooted by earlier LRA incursions.
Mr. Oshidari reaffirmed that the WFP
would resume its humanitarian assistance
in Ezo area as soon as
the security situation is improved.
Increasing tribal violence, poor rainfall
and high food prices were identified
as the 'key shocks' behind
the worsening food security
situation in southern Sudan.
The WFP plans to increase by 25 percent
its food assistance distributed
to Southern Sudan this year, to
a total of 118,000 metric tons,
because the number of people facing
severe food shortages
had now risen to 1.3 million.
He also pointed out that southern Sudan
needs some 22,000 metric tons
to cover food gap till the end of October.
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