Home | News    Saturday 6 January 2007

Aid workers beaten, raped in Darfur: French ACF

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Jan 5, 2007 (PARIS) — Aid workers who left the restive Darfur region of Sudan last month did so because of an attack in which several of them were beaten and subjected to mock executions and, in one case, raped, a French non-governmental organisation said.

Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) said Friday its 23 employees were among the 71 NGO personnel evacuated after the attack, which occurred in Gereida, in southern Darfur, on the night of December 18.

The staff suffered "beatings, blows from rifle butts, robbery, assault and at least one rape," a spokesperson said, confirming statements the group made to Le Monde newspaper.

Oxfam, the British aid agency which also operated at the refugee camp where ACF was distributing rations for the World Food Programme, also pulled out its workers.

It said gunshots were fired at one of the buildings it occupied near the camp, a guard it employed was badly beaten, and five of its six vehicles were stripped.

ACF said "NGOs were clearly targeted", but did not identify the assailants. The area is controlled by the rebel Sudan Liberation Army.

The only foreign aid workers left in Gereida were a dozen Red Cross personnel, who were supervising around 100 local employees.

(AFP)

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