Darfur governor calls on ‘all men and women’ in the region to take up arms


Minni Minawi, the governor of Darfur, yesterday urged the people of Darfur to take up arms to protect their property from the ongoing violence.

“Attacks on people have multiplied,” Minawi tweeted yesterday morning. “Therefore, I call on all our honourable citizens, ‘the people of Darfur’, old and young, women and men, to take up arms to protect their property. We, the armed struggle movements, will support them in any case of self-defence.”

The Darfur governor told Radio Dabanga that his call came in response to “the complete absence of the authorities while militants and bandits are wreaking havoc in the region, by attacking cities, plundering and torching of the houses and offices, and violently robbing the people of their property”.

He pointed to the burning down of the main markets of Zalingei, El Geneina, Nyala, the partial burning of the El Fasher Grand Market, in addition to the burning and plundering of the property of people and a number of organisations.

“The Darfuri need to arm themselves for self-defence only,” Minawi stated. “Moreover, arming the people will reduce the scope of warfare.”

He said that they requested the US-Saudi Arabian facilitators of the seven-day ceasefire agreed on by the warring Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on May 20, to arrange for a monitoring mechanism in Darfur, “but they focused on Khartoum”.

Minawi, who is the head of a Sudan Liberation Movement breakaway faction, explained that the security forces of the rebel movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement in October 2020, are limited in number and capabilities. “They are deployed along roads from Kosti to El Geneina, to secure the traffic, and in the capital cities of Darfur.”

Later on Sunday, the Office of the Governor of the Darfur Region issued a statement in which it explained the tweet by Minawi.  

The governor called on the Darfuri to take up arms, because of “the precarious security situation in Darfur that already existed before this war.

“Since the outbreak of the war, three of the five capitals in Darfur have been plundered and attacked by armed robbers.  

“These violent incidents take place in the presence of the rebel movements, but because of political complexities in the country, and the large number of attacks, it is difficult to cover all areas and secure the roads.”

The office of the Darfur governor concluded its statement by saying that they “remain committed to neutrality and appeal on the SAF and the RSF to stop the war and start a direct dialogue that will lead to a comprehensive political solution.”