Darfur, West Kordofan ‘ready for disarmament campaign’
Officials in Darfur and Kordofan have expressed their readiness to start the nationwide disarmament campaign announced by Khartoum last month.
In El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, the commander of the 6th Infantry, Maj. Gen. Adel Hamid El Jamri told the press on Friday that the state would be free of weapons within two months.
The Governor of West Darfur, Fadlelmawla El Haja, stressed that the authorities will start to collect arms by peaceful means, and in coordination with civil society leaders. If this does not succeed, the arms will be collected by force.
“The West Darfur government will confront any group and every outlaw who reject the implementation of the illegal arms and cars collection,” he told reporters in El Geneina.
On Friday as well, the Governor of South Darfur, Adam El Faki, directed the nazirs [native administration leaders] in the state to submit the names of “thieves and outlaws” to agents of the security service, so that they can be arrested.
He said that the formation of local search teams will be prohibited, as livestock thefts are to be reported to the police, who will then act instead of the people themselves.
Governor Abulgasim El Amin Baraka warned the residents of West Kordofan that no one would be exempted from the illegal arms collection.
“Four-wheel-drive vehicles represent a war machine,” he said in a press conference in El Fula on Friday. “State experts have concluded that the proliferation of arms and unlicensed Land Cruisers are the real reasons for the crisis in the region. These factors threaten the security and social fabric in Darfur.”
Baraka assured “all nomad tribes and people living at the border with South Sudan that the Sudan Armed Forces will secure the borders, the citizens, and their property”.
Anas Omar, the Governor of East Darfur, told reporters in the capital of Ed Daein on Thursday that at least 500 weapons have already been collected during a two-day voluntary campaign last week.
Residents of Ed Daein, the capital of East Darfur, however complained about raids of homes by government forces. The search of several homes was violent and degrading, they said. The search was thorough but did not produce anything.
Omar further said that the government's decision to confiscate four-wheel-drive vehicles led to dozens of Land Cruisers being moved to the South Sudan border.
In West Darfur, hundreds of owners of Land Cruisers i have stopped their vehicles from transporting passengers and goods in protest against the confiscation of their vehicles.
The four-wheel drive vehicles are the only means of transportation during the rainy season in Darfur where most of the roads have no asphalt.
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