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Arrests in Darfur’s Kutum ‘lesson to outlaws’

February 23 - 2016 KUTUM
Security forces guarding a bus station in Central Darfur (file photo)
Security forces guarding a bus station in Central Darfur (file photo)

Authorities in Kutum locality, North Darfur, carried out a major security campaign on Monday, seizing weapons from people wearing civilian clothes, fining those wearing face-covering garments in public places, and seizing motorcycles.

The locality Commissioner and security colonel Adam Awadal Karim Bosh told Radio Dabanga yesterday that a combined force of soldiers, police, security agents, and Border Guards are carrying out the security campaign.

“They have arrested a group of outlaws, accused of armed robberies, theft, and kidnapping, who will be transferred to El Fasher for trial. Their penalties will send a lesson to other outlaws,” the Commissioner said.

Until November last year, Kutum lacked regular police forces to maintain order, and the 55,000 town residents had been living in a security vacuum for nearly four years. The Governor of North Darfur installed a military Commissioner and appointed the military to take on policing duties in an attempt to restore peace and stability. 

As of Monday, the joint forces are also tasked with securing the important road between El Fasher and Kutum, and other roads in the locality. Road ambushes and unofficial checkpoints, held by militiamen, are common in the area.

Bosh announced that a judge, prosecutor, and a police contingent arrived in Kutum last week, in order to curb the lawlessness in the locality that has lasted for years. “Regular life for civilians has returned after the arrival of these organs.” Last year, the new Governor Yusuf Abdul Wahid pledged to send 500 police, three prosecutors, and two of the local judiciary, to fill the security vacuum.

Bosh appealed to the Governor to re-open the prison in Kutum so as to imprison and prosecute all criminal offenders in the area itself.

In the North Darfur capital El Fasher and in South Darfur, security measures are also active, in an attempt to reduce the increasing crime rate.

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