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Curfew in North Darfur capital after WFP, UNAMID looting

December 30 - 2021 EL FASHER
Aerial view of the UNAMID logistical base in El Fasher that was looted last weekend (Photo: UN)
Aerial view of the UNAMID logistical base in El Fasher that was looted last weekend (Photo: UN)

A curfew came into effect in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher yesterday at 18:00 and continued until 05:00 today, in accordance with a decision of the North Darfur Security Committee after widespread looting of a warehouse of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), that followed the looting of the former African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) logistical base north of El Fasher last weekend.

North Darfur Police Director and State Security Committee Rapporteur, Major General Abdelkarim Hamdo, called on the people to adhere to the daily curfew from 18:00 in order to preserve their lives. He said that the state security committee prepared at the same time a plan to secure strategic and vital facilities in the state

Mohamed Abdelkarim, head of the National Umma Party in North Darfur, warned of the danger of a series of attacks and looting on the headquarters of UNAMID and the World Food Programme (WFP) in El Fasher, to markets, shops and banks.

He told Radio Dabanga from El Fasher yesterday that what is happening now in El Fasher, in terms of security chaos and looting of the headquarters of UNAMID and WFP, clearly represents the weakness of the ruling authority at all levels, and that the matter is planned and programmed. He explained that the general feeling of the citizen in El Fasher is that this series can be transmitted to the markets and banks at any moment.

Public looting at the WFP warehouse in El Fasher yesterday (Photo: RD)

 

Abdelkarim held the authorities fully responsible for what was happening, noting that the vehicles and counters were looted in broad daylight using large cranes and in front of the authorities' eyes.

He said that the chaos in El Fasher now is due to the large number of armed militias and the multiplicity of undisciplined forces. He told Radio Dabanga that the security chaos and looting were carried out by these forces.

He called on the authorities to control these forces and to put any person outside the law in their aid, and warned against lawlessness and total chaos if urgent measures were not taken to put an end to this lawlessness.

Well-informed sources in El Fasher assert that the real looting of the headquarters of UNAMID took place in an organised and orderly manner three months ago by official authorities.

Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that the official looting of the mission headquarters in El Fasher began after the replacement of the governor of the state, Nimir Abdelrahman.

She explained that an armed movement was accused of the looting of the mission headquarters, while an armed force led by a man calling himself Eisa El Maseeh (Jesus the Messiah), was accused of looting the WFP stores, according to the testimony of the governor of the state.

Fadul also expects the armed groups to attack markets and banks in El Fasher in the coming days.

Looted offices at the UNAMID base (Photo: UN)

 

In addition, sources warned of a health and environmental disaster in the region due to the waste left by the mission at the headquarters. Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that the people stormed the warehouses that contained the remnants of UNAMID batteries and equipment that posed a threat to human health, as well as indications of the danger of the warehouses that had been hit with weapons.

In this context, lawyers and human rights advocates called on the international bodies, in coordination with UNITAMS and the Government of Sudan, to intervene urgently to protect the headquarters of international organizations and institutions in Darfur in an urgent manner that does not accept delay so that the situation does not get out of control after the complete looting of the UNAMID mission and the warehouses of the World Food Programme in El Fasher by regular forces, rebel fighters and citizens.

Lawyer and human rights defender Jibril Hasabo said that urgent action to protect these decisions is necessary now so that the organizations that provide aid and protection to the people of Darfur are reassured. Hasabo said that the complete looting of the WFP stores in El Fasher will affect the displaced in the camps who receive services and aid from the programme, and it will also affect the security and safety of people, and in particular the displaced in El Fasher and the whole of Darfur.

He described what happened as a dangerous indicator of what will follow and cause panic and anxiety among international organizations working to ease the crisis and humanitarian aid in Darfur.

The General Coordination of the Camps for the Displaced and Refugees strongly condemned the looting of the headquarters of the UNAMID mission in the past, and the headquarters of the World Food Programme (WFP) in El Fasher.

In a statement yesterday, the Coordination holds the Sudanese government, its militias of various names, and the armed movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement responsibility for the ongoing insecurity in the cities and localities of Darfur, especially the headquarters of the UNAMID mission previously, and the headquarters of the World Food Programme in El Fasher.

In the statement, the official spokesperson for the Coordination, Adam Rujal, called on the UN Security Council and the Troika countries to take serious and decisive decisions to protect the displaced and defenceless people in Darfur, and to immediately send an international force under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, to make peace, for the sake of humanity only to save the lives of the remaining victims of the genocide in Darfur.

 


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