UN resumes food aid in S Sudan states

2011-05-13 13:36

Khartoum - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it had resumed operations in two states in South Sudan halted after a wave of violence before secession in July.

Southern authorities had given assurances that no food aid would be commandeered again, the UN organisation said in a statement late on Thursday, after the southern Sudan army took a lorry full of food destined for schools in Lakes state in April.

A WFP employee was killed in Jonglei state last month, forcing the organisation to suspend aid to seven of 11 counties in Jonglei, beset by violence between the army and rebels.

The oil-producing south voted in January to separate from the north and form a new nation, the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war in Africa's largest nation. The conflict claimed at least two million lives.

More than 1 100 people have died this year in rebel and tribal violence across nine of the south's 10 states, displacing nearly 100 000 people, according to official figures.

More than 160 people have been killed in clashes in the past seven days alone, official figures show.

Analysts say the violence - including cattle rustling, tribal clashes over land and water, several rebel militia fighting to overthrow the government - risks making the south a failed state and destabilising the region.