September 27, 2012 (WAU) - UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) has suspended humanitarian flights to Warrap state, due to the lack of security guarantees after a disagreement with the state Governor, according to local authorities and aid workers on Thursday.
- WFP flight preparing to drop aid in South Sudan (WFP, photo)
No official statement has been made by the state administration assuring WFP staff working in the area will be protected.
The WFP issued a statement announcing the cessation of flights in the state, hours after the governor Nyandeng Malek protested a routine check on her hand luggage on one of their flights.
Aviation authority officials in the South Sudan capital, Juba, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that Malek attempted to resist the security check. A member of the authority who wished to retain their anonymity described Malek as “a hundred percent wrong.“ He also claimed that Malek wa unsuccessfully trying to get re-seated at the front of the plane, despite the fact that she had seat reserved.
The official said Malek had a bitter exchange with the pilot, resulting in the cancellation of all WFP flights to Warrap.
Attempts to reach both Malek and the WFP country director did not succeed, though officials working for the state administration and WFP also claimed that reports of the incident were true.
A source close to Malek claimed that WFP staff are to blame for failing to accord her due respect, considering her position as governor. He also claimed that steps have been taken to address the “misunderstanding” with WFP.