UN Aid Worker Killed In Sudan Crossfire

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The United Nations migration agency said that a staff member had been killed in fighting in southern Sudan on Friday when his vehicle was caught in crossfire.

The humanitarian worker with the International Organization for Migration is the fourth UN member of staff killed since fighting erupted in Sudan on Saturday.

Three employees of the World Food Programme were killed in the North Darfur region of eastern Sudan.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the death of a dedicated IOM Sudan staff member this morning after the vehicle he was travelling in with his family south of El Obeid was caught in a crossfire between two warring parties,” IOM director general Antonio Vitorino said in a statement.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of our humanitarian colleague, and join his wife and newborn child, and our team in Sudan in mourning.”

The man was a 49-year-old Sudanese national who was driving in a private vehicle, an IOM spokesman told AFP.

Vitorino said staff safety was his top priority and he would work with other UN agencies to update their security response.

The World Health Organization said earlier Friday that, to its knowledge, 413 people had been killed and 3,551 people injured since the fighting erupted Saturday.

The clashes are between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who is commonly known as Hemeti.

“The senseless deaths of civilians including humanitarians, which claimed the lives of three WFP employees in North Darfur on Saturday, must end and peace be restored,” Vitorino said.

“The latest outbreak of violence has forced IOM to suspend its humanitarian operations in Sudan. All parties must ensure the safety of humanitarians and allow their unrestricted access to be able to assist those most vulnerable.”

Vitorino noted that an estimated 3.7 million people are internally displaced inside Sudan and that prior to the latest outbreak in violence, 15.8 million people — one-third of the population — needed humanitarian aid.

AFP

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