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The Christian Post – A leading Christian-based ecumenical relief group from Norway was reportedly raided in Darfur on Tuesday as it was on its way to deliver resources to refugee camps. Being the second raid in the recent weeks, Tuesday’s incident has raised concerns over deteriorating security amid a fragile peace talk.

Although details of the raid have not been disclosed, the pattern of the attack was very similar to previous one, reports say. As the field teams of Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) made their routine trip through the western and southern parts of Darfur on their vehicles to transport relief resources to refugee camps, they encountered heavily armed men riding on horses and camels en route and were chased away, according to Reuters’ report.

“We are extremely thankful to know that our colleagues are safe and well. But the growing trend of ambush, both of clearly marked aid vehicles and hired trucks, is frightening,” Relief Program Director Bjorg Mide told Reuters. The NCA relief program is a joint effort between NCA, the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT), and the Catholic confederation Caritas Internationalis.

In a matter of weeks, NCA vehicles have been raided at gunpoint by bandits twice, Reuters reported.

“It is hard to know the real motivation behind these raids,” Mide continued, “but we are sure that the two attacks to which we have been subjected over the last few weeks were nothing more than pure banditry.”

However, some said the raid was one incident among a series of attacks launched by both the Southern Sudanese rebels and pro-government militia Janjaweed in the last few days. The latest clashes in Darfur were triggered by the peace talks held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja .

Many aid agencies and humanitarian convoys have also been targeted, according to BBC news.

And the attacks on aid agencies have not only threatened the lives of relief workers, but they have also affected the effectiveness of the aid delivery to the hands of the needy in the war-torn Darfur region…[Go To Full Story]