JUBA, Sudan, April 29 (UPI) -- Hundreds of thousands of people in southern Sudan might not get critical food assistance if violence persists, the U.N. World Food Program warned.
WFP said food aid to more than 240,000 people in southern Sudan is in jeopardy because of rising violence in the region.
The aid agency added that it was forced to halt some deliveries because a convoy of food aid was commandeered by members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army last week.
"This comes at a critical time, with rising violence and tensions and clashes across the south, and the livelihoods of many people jeopardized as a result," said WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro.
The majority of voters who took part in a January referendum backed independence for southern Sudan. The referendum was part of a comprehensive peace agreement reached in 2005 that ended a bloody civil war in Sudan.
Disputes like border demarcations and voting issues in disputed border territories threatens to unravel the peace agreement, however.
The United Nations estimates that 2.7 million people need food aid in southern Sudan.