A Sudanese driver for the World Food Program has been shot dead in war-torn South Kordofan state, the U.N. agency said on Sunday, in the second attack against it in two days.
The killing came as officials announced an agreement on aid access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where the UN has described a worsening humanitarian crisis but has been severely restricted in its movement.
“Our driver was killed yesterday in an armed attack in an area some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kadugli,” WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro told AFP.
Jamal Al Fadil Farag Allah, married with five children, is the first WFP employee to be killed in Sudan, she said.
“He was driving fellow staff member Saad Yousif when their vehicle was attacked by two unknown assailants,” Almagro said.
They were travelling in a marked UN vehicle on official business, she added.
Yousif was wounded but survived and was to be airlifted to Khartoum later on Sunday.
More than 200,000 refugees have fled a worsening humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and nearby Blue Nile states since fighting between government and rebel forces from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) began in June last year, the United Nations says.
Ethnic minority insurgents of the SPLM-N fought alongside southern rebels during Sudan’s 22-year civil war, which ended in a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan’s independence in July last year.
There are no figures for how many people have died since the war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile began.
The government of Sudan has cited security concerns in placing tight restrictions on the operations of foreign relief agencies in the warzone.
After African Union-led talks in Ethiopia, AU mediator Thabo Mbeki on Saturday announced an agreement between Sudan, the United Nations, the AU and the Arab League to allow for humanitarian access in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Sudan has agreed to allow an independent assessment of the humanitarian needs, as well as internationally-monitored delivery of aid throughout the war zone, a foreign analyst said.
However, a ceasefire will be required to implement the measures, he added.
A humanitarian source said progress on aid is unlikely until the political side is addressed as well, “including a possible ceasefire.”
The WFP worker’s death came two days after armed men in another part of the country spent about 12 hours looting and ransacking a WFP compound, Almagro said.
The incident began at about mid-day Thursday and continued until early Friday at the compound in Kutum town, North Darfur, she said.
“Our office and guest house were looted,” with furniture, fuel, computers and other items stolen, Almagro said. WFP staff hid during the incident and were unhurt.
“Since the security situation remains tense and unpredictable we have decided to suspend our operation until the situation calms down,” she said.