, PORT SUDAN, Sudan, May 5 – Dockers began unloading tens of thousands of tonnes of food from a US aid ship on Thursday destined for war-torn areas of Sudan, an AFP correspondent reported.
The bulk carrier Liberty Grace docked in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast with a cargo of 40,500 tonnes of sorghum, a staple food in Sudan.
Dozens of stevedores were unloading the shipment onto waiting trucks.
“It will take 14 days to unload” the entire shipment, said the ship’s captain Peter Matesic. It was his third trip to Sudan with a cargo of food aid.
A member of the crew said the vessel took 25 days to reach Port Sudan from Houston, Texas.
The food aid organised by the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Programme was to be delivered to several war-torn areas of Sudan but mainly to Darfur.
A brutal conflict erupted in the western region in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir.
Some 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 2.5 million been displaced, according to the United Nations.
Since 2011, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum has also been battling insurgencies in two areas on the border — Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.