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Darfur witnesses more violence as authorities reaffirm the importance of disarmament

March 23 - 2021 EL GENEINA / AZIRNI / KALMA / KHARTOUM
The protests in Gireida earlier this month for the dismissal of the South Darfur wali and the removal of RSF units from the region (social media)
The protests in Gireida earlier this month for the dismissal of the South Darfur wali and the removal of RSF units from the region (social media)

Both West and South Darfur witnessed several violent incidents over the weekend, sparking protests to demand security and protection. In Khartoum, authorities reaffirmed the importance of proper planning for the process of collecting weapons and disarming civilians during a seminar on the National Project for Weapon Collection yesterday.

At least two people were injured in an armed attack on a mosque in Azirni in the Kereinik locality, West Darfur, on Sunday evening.

People from the area told Radio Dabanga that two gunmen shot worshipers while they were performing evening prayers in the Grand Mosque. They fled shortly afterwards.

The witnesses said that the injured were taken to the El Geneina Hospital and that one of them suffered a very serious head injury.

They also said that protests erupted in Azirni on Monday, shortly after the events, which resulted in road closures, the burning of vehicle tyres, and people demanding further civilian protection.

In another event in West Darfur, three people were stabbed while they got off a vehicle coming from Chad on Saturday evening. Ibrahim Hasan Azlou, Munira Ahmed, and Fatima Ahmed were beaten and stabbed. The injured were transferred to El Geneina Hospital.

El Geneina recently witnessed a surge in violence. Most significantly the El Geneina Massacre in January when large groups of armed men from Arab herding communities attacked El Geneina and the two Kerending camps, killing at least 163 people and leaving more than 123,000 people displaced.

South Darfur violence

In South Darfur, a spokesperson for the General Coordination of Camps for the Displaced and Refugees said that gunmen opened fire on Sunday afternoon at Kalma camp for the displaced but did not injure anyone.

The organisation’s statement explained that the gunmen attacked the camp for the third time from the western side and fired live bullets. They also explained that the shooting caused a state of panic and fear among the elderly, women and children.

Last week, a displaced woman was injured during an attack carried out by armed gunmen at the Kalma camp.

Yesterday, Radio Dabanga reported that The General Coordination of Camps for the Displaced and Refugees has given the Sudanese government a week to dismiss South Darfur wali (governor) Mousa Mahdi. The displaced accuse him of supplying tribal groups with weapons that were used in the camps.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok told the government of South Darfur to take the necessary measures to secure the protection of its people during a meeting with Mahdi in his office in Khartoum to discuss the security challenges in the region.

Earlier this month, people also protested in Gireida for the dismissal of the South Darfur wali and against the presence of the RSF in the region.

Disarmament

During a seminar on the National Project for Weapon Collection in Khartoum yesterday, authorities reaffirmed the importance of proper planning for the process of collecting weapons.

The seminar was organised by the African Centre for Open Governance and Peace in coordination with the Committee for the Collection of Weapons and Unlicensed Vehicles. It focused on raising awareness and addressing the reasons why people feel the apparent need to carry weapons.

It also looked at developing law enforcement institutions, providing political and technical support, and promoting a culture of peace.

Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council and commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo welcomed the recommendations of the seminar and pledged to work to implement them.

The Secretary-General of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed El Ghali affirmed that the proliferation, possession, and illicit circulation of weapons represents a great threat to Sudan’s peace and stability.

Speaking at the Republican Palace yesterday, he said that the conflicts fuelled by the illegal proliferation of weapons have led to a waste of resources, migration, and displacement.


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