KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A leading humanitarian agency Wednesday called for warring parties to respect the provision of medical care to people in western Sudan's Darfur region.
Increased insecurity in recent weeks has forced Medecins Sans Frontieres, an independent international medical relief organization, to suspend its medical assistance activities, leaving thousands of patients untreated each day.
MSF field workers have been attacked on at least four separate occasions since July 14. Vehicles, including ambulances, have been shot at and staff were beaten and robbed.
Such incidents have led to the evacuation of a number of MSF teams operating in the region, interrupting mobile clinics and hampering the transferal of emergency patients.
MSF teams have worked in Darfur since 2003, providing medical consultations, surgery, emergency referrals and nutritional programs.
On Saturday, the United Nations and African Union condemned the Sudanese army and Janjaweed militias for attacking rebels in Darfur's Jebel Moon area.
This marked the first time since the latest peace deal that the Sudanese army has been confirmed as fighting there.
Some 2 million people have fled their homes in Darfur and tens of thousands are reported to have been killed since the conflict began three years ago.