African Centre: Security situation in Darfur deteriorated in 2017
According to a recent report by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) various developments contributed to the deterioration of the security situation in Darfur last year.
The New York-based activist centre points in its latest report, Militia Chaos in Darfur: What’s Next?, to the major disarmament campaign the Sudanese government launched in the western regions in August 2017, fighting between paramilitaries and rebel combatants in Darfur, and the downsizing of UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid).
“In a political move aimed at creating an impression of government control and defusing tensions in Darfur, Khartoum announced a campaign in August 2017 under Presidential Decree No. 419 (2017) to collect weapons and legitimize the ownership of smuggled vehicles in the states of Darfur and Kordofan,” the report reads.
Thousands of members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main militia, were stationed in Darfur to carry out the collection of illegal arms and unregistered vehicles.
Notorious janjaweed leader Musa Hilal and his fighters who refused to give up their weapons were arrested.
Between May and November 2017, more than 400 members of the RSF and rebel movements were killed and more than 330 were wounded. At least 230 rebel combatants were taken prisoner.
After tribal clashes between Ma‘aliya and Rizeigat tribesmen in East Darfur, more than 40 leaders of the warring tribes were arrested under the State of Emergency. They were transferred to prisons in Port Sudan and Khartoum North. “Transfer to other governorates is akin to exile,” the African Centre states.
The report further lists the killing of four displaced people in Kalma camp in South Darfur when government forces fired at a peaceful demonstration against the announced visit of President Al Bashir to the camp.
In 2017, Unamid began its withdrawal from the region, and handed 11 bases to the authorities in the region.
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