TRIPOLI, July 15 (AFP) — Libya and the UN’s World Food Program said they had agreed on opening aid corridors through Libya to Sudan and Chad to speed the delivery of relief supplies to victims of the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Relief supplies are to shipped into Libya’s Mediterranean port of Banghazi and dispatched south to Sudan and Chad, where 120,000 refugees from the fighting have fled.
“This Libyan initiative aims to aid Africans and establish peace and security in Africa,” Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Sabala said at a news conference.
World Food Program Deputy Director John Powell said he hoped with opening of the corridors that aid could reach all the one million people forced from their homes by the conflict next month.
Lack of infrastructure in the region has been a major difficulty for aid reaching victims, along with continued fighting, he said.
The United Nations has described Darfur, where more than 10,000 people have died and over a million been displaced, as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Powell said the World Food Program was also holding talks with the Sudanese government on resolving problems in the delivery of aid.
Darfur rebels rose up in February 2003 against the government, which has deployed regular forces backed by militia that have been widely accused of committing major human rights violations.