Home | News    Saturday 25 December 2004

Suffering Sudan braces for new locust invasion

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KHARTOUM, Dec 25 (AFP) — The Sudanese government has readied 13 planes for fighting swarms of desert locusts, poised to enter the country from Egypt, the Sudanese Media Center reported Saturday.

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The semi-governmental news service quoted State Agriculture Minister Al-Fatih Mohammed Saeed as saying teams have been deployed in northern and eastern states to fend off the new invasion.

Sudan’s Northern State has been on maximum alert for a week as the insects continue a rampage that has devastated crops and plantations in large swathes of Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe over the second half of 2004.

Millions of locusts already deluged Sudan at the height of the planting season a few months ago, devouring seedlings and standing crops of millet and sorghum.

Sudan is already plagued by fighting in the western Darfur states, where aid agencies are struggling to deliver relief for hundreds of thousands of people suffering from what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crisis.

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