Libya to open corridors for Darfur aid

Libya and the UN's World Food Programme have agreed to opening aid corridors to help deliver relief supplies to Darfur.

    Routes between the two countries will be opened

    Relief supplies are to be shipped into Libya's Mediterranean port of Banghazi and dispatched south to Sudan and Chad, where 120,000 refugees from the Darfur 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 on Thursday.

    World Food Programme 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 displaced, as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

    Powell said the World Food Programme 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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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