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Five arrested in North Darfur weapons collection

November 28 - 2017 SARAF UMRA / KHARTOUM
Collected weapons presented during a conference in Darfur in November 2017 (RD)
Collected weapons presented during a conference in Darfur in November 2017 (RD)

Rapid Support Forces executing the weapons collection campaign in Saraf Omra, North Darfur, have arrested five people in the past days. A politician was detained for unknown reasons in Khartoum on Monday.

A witness said that members of the paramilitary Sudanese force arrested Mohamed Yahya Bassam and Yahya Korika from Saraf Omra locality on Saturday, on charges of illegally possessing weapons. They were transferred to El Fasher.

Mohamed Shumein, Abdallah Yagoub and another person named Abdallah Yagoub were arrested in Birkat Seira administrative unit for possessing weapons on Monday.

Last week the Governor of North Darfur, Abdelwahed Yousef Ibrahim, reported the collection of 7,830 weapons and the arrest of more than 130 people suspected of several violations, including criminal records, drugs, weapons, unlicensed vehicles, or previous crimes.

“Only 30,000 out of 700,000 illegal arms have been collected in Darfur.” - Prof Hamid Eltigani

Earlier this month, professor Hamid Eltigani of the American University in Cairo commented that the voluntary and mandatory collection of illegal arms in Darfur states resulted in the capture of “only 30,000 arms out of the targeted 700,000 arms. Most were simply collected from the Sudan’s Popular Defence Forces [during the voluntary collection phase]”.

He told Radio Dabanga that the campaign is on the verge of being rolled-back because of a lack of funds to finance the process: in North Darfur alone, 12,500 Rapid Support Forces and police have been deployed to assist with the arms collection and the controls of unregistered vehicles.

Opposition members detained

On Monday, the Sudanese security authorities arrested a member of the leadership of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties) and of the National Unionist Party, Mohamed Abdelwahab.

The NCF released a press statement, saying that Abdelwahab was arrested after he was summoned to the office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum North.

The coalition said that they will hold the NISS responsible for Abdelwahab’s health, and demanded a clarification for his detention and his immediate release.

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