KHARTOUM, Sudan — Hunger is killing 15 people a day in a southern Sudanese town reportedly under siege by rebels, relief agencies reported Saturday.
Sudan Aid and Norwegian Church Aid, both voluntary agencies with church links, said an average of 10 adults and five children are dying from hunger every day in Torit, in the Equatoria region near the Ugandan border.
In an aid appeal to the international community, published in the Khartoum daily Telegraph, the agencies said 18,000 refugees from elsewhere in Equatoria have converged on Torit. They said the town has received no relief supplies since December.
Foreign diplomats in Khartoum said Torit has been under siege for weeks by rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which has fought since 1983 to end what it sees as domination by the mainly Muslim and Arab north.
The bush war in the mainly animist and Christian south, combined with drought, has ruined agriculture and forced about 3 million people to flee to other parts of Sudan or to Ethiopia.
In another development, Angelo Beda, a Cabinet minister without portfolio, said 55 people have died over the last two days in another town in Sudan's war-torn south. He said a train with relief supplies is due to leave this week for the town of Aweil in Bahr el-Ghazal province.