Money intended to pay the salaries of International Medical Corps (IMC) workers has been stolen in a robbery in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur on Monday. A witness told Radio Dabanga that “pro-government militiamen attacked the IMC headquarters in the city at about midday on Monday”.
They reportedly threatened the organisation’s guard before making off on motorcycles with SDG217,000 ($50,000) from the treasury – money that was destined to pay the NGO’s workers’ salaries.
According to remarks in Khartoum newspapers today, the acting commissioner of Zalingei, Ali Mohamed Adam, confirmed the incident during a meeting of the locality’s security committee.
Adam said that “there is a broad campaign against motorcycles, as well as to prohibit anyone from appearing in public wearing as masked or military uniform, except the regular forces”.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga from the organisation’s headquarters in California, USA, on Tuesday, senior IMC communications officer Jaya Vadlamudi confirmed that the incident occurred, but was not at liberty to supply any further details at this time.
She said that her organisation is primarily grateful that all of their staff are safe following the incident: “We are working diligently to ensure our staff are taken care of.”
“As this is a criminal investigation we cannot comment further on this case, but our primary concern in all of the areas where we work worldwide is the safety of our staff and beneficiaries,” she concluded.
The danger to NGO workers in Darfur was underlined earlier this month when two employees of World Vision International died when their compound was targeted during inter-militia violence in Nyala, capital of South Darfur.
As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, the UN has communicated to all UN agencies and international NGOs to take necessary precautions by restricting unnecessary movements. “Government police patrols have been reinforced around UN and international NGO residences and compounds, according to the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS).
By Radio Dabanga.