Sudan’s U-turn on ‘GM’ food aid
Sudan has agreed to let in a shipment of food for Darfur, after blocking it on the basis it was genetically modified, the UN food agency says.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed the decision to accept the 100,000 tonnes of US sorghum.
WFP spokeswoman Caroline Hurford had said the food had been tested to show it was not genetically modified, adding GM sorghum did not even exist.
Aid agencies are feeding 2.4m people who have fled the Darfur conflict.
Some aid workers believe that Sudan wants more food aid to be purchased in the country, reports Reuters news agency.
"We do intend to buy some amount of food from Sudan as they had a bumper harvest but there are limits to how much we can purchase because of funding. Most food aid is given to us in kind, as is the case with the US sorghum," Ms Hurford said.
Meanwhile, African Union (AU) peacekeepers say that pro-government militias continue to kill and pillage with impunity in Darfur.
The Sudanese government says security is improving in Darfur and has repeatedly pledged to disarm the Arab Janjaweed militias.
Last week, Sudan agreed to let 3,000 UN peacekeepers with helicopter gunships into Darfur to help AU troops.
But the US wants more than 10,000 UN soldiers to be sent and has threatened to increase sanctions.
At least 200,000 people are estimated to have died in Darfur since rebels took up arms four years.
The US says a genocide is being committed against the region’s black African population.
Sudan says the problems are being exaggerated for political reasons.
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