Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The African Union are not the only people in Darfur running out of money - today, air traffic in Darfur more or less grinds to a halt as the World Food Programme (the managers of the Humanitarian Air Services I have fondly written about on past occasions) runs out of fuel.

No more flights, no visitors or new arrivals, no supplies. No visiting finance manager to come and pay local salaries, no spare parts and no computers or other desperately awaited gadgets delivered by hand from Khartoum. At least food aid has been pre-positioned in most locations, and some cargo flights are still going ahead for now.

But as the WFP pilots join African Union soldiers on the tarmacs of El Fasher, Nyala and Geneina next to their empty helicopter tanks, I wonder who has neglected to pay the bill this time. Or, more importantly, whether they are even aware of the fact that two million completely powerless displaced people (and of course a few hundred angry aid workers) are sitting around waiting for them to do it.

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