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UN appeals to warring parties not to hijack tsunami relief supplies

[JURIST] UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland Thursday appealed to warring groups in the tsunami affected areas of South Asia to respect ceasefires, suspend their conflicts and stop reported acts of "banditry" that in a few instances he said have involved violence, attempted kidnapping and the hijacking of relief assets. Egeland observed that the northern Aceh province of Indonesia in particular was "full of small arms" and many groups. In Sri Lanka, aid agencies have complained that Tamil Tiger revels have seized relief supplies sent to northern Sri Lanka and have redirected them to their own uses. The rebels say that Sri Lanka government authorities have been hampering delivery of the supplies. Egeland said that "if there is conflict, everything is paralyzed." Watch Under-Secretary England's tsunami relief briefing from earlier this afternoon in JURIST's Monitor here; the Toronto Globe & Mail has a background story here.

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