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Caritas aid worker shot in Darfur

An aid worker from Caritas Internationalis/Action by Churches Together has been shot while delivering vital medical supplies to a camp in Darfur.

The marked humanitarian relief car was attacked by a lone gunman with a machine gun as it travelled along the road between Mershing and Nyala.

The British Caritas organisation CAFOD has commented that the incident is another indication that the Government of Sudan and all the warring parties are failing to fully protect civilians and humanitarian workers in the Darfur region.

Aid agencies are now advised not to travel on the road until further security checks are made by the United Nations. This leaves the possibility of thousands of people being cut off from further aid deliveries.

The wounded driver was undergoing surgery on Tuesday, when he was reported to be in a stable condition. The remaining three passengers, all of whom work for ACT/Caritas partners SUDO, (Sudan Social Development Organisation) and SCC (Sudan Council of Churches), were not injured.

CAFOD director Chris Bain said: "This incident demonstrates the highly dangerous situation we and other aid agencies are operating in.

"Staff security is a priority and we do everything we can to protect our staff and partners. Without this we cannot deliver vital aid to the thousands of displaced people suffering starvation and disease.

"However, it is clear vast improvements in overall security are necessary. The international community must continue to put direct pressure on the Government of Sudan and all warring parties to protect civilians and the workers racing to deliver humanitarian aid.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the driver and his family."

ACT/Caritas aid worker shot in Darfur (CAFOD 1/8/04)

ACT/Caritas Darfur Emergency Response
Catholic aid worker shot in Darfur (Independent Catholic News 1/9/04)
Sudan: bishops issue statement on Darfur (Independent Catholic News 31/8/04)
Joan Chittister: Beware what you're not aware of, it measures your humanity (National Catholic Reporter 26/8/04)
Sudan: bishops issue statement on Darfur (CISA 31/8/04)
U.S. bishops seek assistance for Sudan (The Tidings 27/8/04)
One in a million: Displaced Sudanese from Darfur (The Tidings 27/8/04)
Sudan's bishops see genocide in Darfur (Catholic World News 31/8/04)
Straw must increase pressure on Sudan as Darfur crisis worsens (CAFOD 24/8/04)
Sudanese Bishops Alert International Community of Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur (Zenit 30/8/04)

2 Sep 2004