Activists criticise North Kordofan smuggling ban amidst increased looting
EL OBEID – May 9, 2023
The acting governor of North Kordofan, Fadlallah El Tom, issued an emergency order on Sunday to combat the smuggling of strategic goods out of the state. Activists criticise the move and ask that the security situation is addressed first.
The emergency order bans the transport of “strategic commodities” outside the scope of the channels approved by the official authorities. The commodities include petrol, diesel, gas, therapeutic medicines, bread and flour, sugar, and cooking oil.
The order stipulates that catching any vehicles or individuals carrying these goods without certification by the competent authorities is considered smuggling or attempting to smuggle these goods.
Penalties, in case of violation, are potential imprisonment for a maximum of five years and the confiscation of goods and vehicles or storage equipment for the benefit of the Ministry of Finance and Economy in the state.
The order also imposes a fine ranging from five to ten million Sudanese Pounds.
Activists in the state capital El Obeid criticised the governor’s decision and said that the state government should instead combat the growing insecurity in the region.
For them, it is the robberies and looting that are the main problem, not the smuggling of (the stolen) goods.
“Many people in North Kordofan now suffer from the security chaos, especially in the villages south of El Obeid,” one of them explained to Radio Dabanga.
“These areas are witnessing widespread robberies and looting and need security instead of an emergency order to ban the smuggling of goods.”
‘These areas are witnessing widespread robberies and looting and need security instead of an emergency order to ban the smuggling of goods’
He also reported a severe drinking water crisis in the southern neighbourhoods of El Obeid and criticised the authorities for failing to address these crises.