Driver for UN World Food Programme killed during ambush in southern Sudan
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) expressed sadness and shock today at the murder of one its employees during a roadside ambush in southern Sudan, calling the attack evidence of the instability that continues to plague the region.
Emmanuel Chaku Joseph, a Sudanese national who worked as a driver for WFP, died yesterday after unknown gunmen opened fire on a pick-up truck on the road between Juba, the capital of southern Sudan, and the town of Torit.
WFP Sudan representative Kenro Oshidari described the killing of the 28-year-old as cold-blooded and senseless.
“His death marks a setback to all those who value peace and prosperity in southern Sudan, and is yet another example of daily outbreaks of violence which threaten the future stability of the region,” Mr. Oshidari said.
Mr. Joseph was a passenger in the pick-up truck, travelling with employees of the German development agency GTZ and an armed escort provided by the southern Sudanese armed force, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in line with UN security procedures in the region.
One of the GTZ employees and two SPLA soldiers were also wounded in yesterday morning’s attack.
Most of the 420 people employed in southern Sudan by WFP – which aims to feed about two million people this year in that part of the vast African country – are Sudanese nationals. The Programme is also working with GTZ to build nearly 3,000 kilometres of roads across the south, which has long lacked basic infrastructure.