Darfur lorries roll after ‘tolls’ paid
The 13 lorries that were seized by members of the paramilitary Border Guards at Ed El Nabag in North Darfur earlier this week arrived at Kabkabiya today, after the owners paid the sum of SDG44,000 ($7,140).
A trader told Radio Dabanga from Kabkabiya that the drivers were released this morning.
The paramilitaries seized the lorries on Sunday and Monday at their ‘toll gate’ in the area of Ed El Nabag, some 13 kilometres east of Kabkabiya. They demanded ‘passage fees’ of SDG10,000 ($1,640) from each lorry. When the owners refused to pay, the militiamen detained nine of the drivers within their family homes.
The source said that the money was paid to a trader in Kabkabiya who is cooperating with the Border Guards.
He added that the people of Kabkabiya strongly denounce the incident and criticise the non-intervention of the authorities.
“They say that the Sudanese government behaved like an accomplice who was watching only. The incident has created fear among the people, especially because the perpetrators belong to a government-backed militia. They and their leaders are well-known in the area.”
The trader demanded that the Sudanese authorities “take strict security measures to contain the lawlessness in Kabkabiya locality and beyond, so that the people are able to move around securely. Moreover, the movement of commercial lorries with their loads without hindrance is in the interest of everyone living in the region.”
He called on the members of the native administration to exert efforts to prevent such incidents in the future.
“The social fabric in the locality has weakened already, as a result of the prevailing logic of the ‘survival of the fittest’ in the absence of the rule of law.”
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