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Former commissioner: ‘Development funds for Darfur’s Jebel Marra stolen by officials’

April 3 - 2019 JEBEL MARRA
File photo
File photo

The former commissioner of Central Jebel Marra locality in Central Darfur, Mohamed Adam, has accused 'four senior officials' of ‘appropriating SDG 560 million ($11.8 million*) allocated for the support of local development in Central Jebel Marra locality’.

Adam alleges that the money ended-up in the pockets of four senior officials working for Central Darfur state and the national government in Khartoum.

“What has been implemented of the development projects in Jebel Marra equals zero,” Adam says.

The former commissioner called for the formation of a committee to review the funds allocated to Jebel Marra.

The Commissioner of Golo, Hasan Abdallah, acknowledged the lack of support projects on the ground in Jebel Marra.

Assault on public funds

In a report released in mid-March, Sudan’s Auditor-General announced that the volume of assault on public funds and financial excesses in eleven states amounted to hundreds of millions of Sudanese Pounds in 2018.

Kassala state ranked highest in the size of the assault on public funds and financial excesses with SDG 400 million ($8,421,000*). El Gezira state came in second, with SDG 73 million.

The excesses in three of the Darfur states in western Sudan have amounted to SDG 52 million.

Similarly, the states of South and North Kordofan and Sennar have caused financial excesses amounting to SDG 36 million.

Jebel Marra access

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, during the first half of 2018, some 15,000 people were newly displaced in Darfur, all in and from Jebel Marra.

The mountainous Jebel Marra is the only place in Darfur where armed opposition maintains prolonged control over territory and the only area in Darfur to which humanitarian organisations had no access between 2011 and 2015. For this reason, access restrictions have been put in place by Khartoum for government- and rebel-controlled areas.

As the latest periodic report by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the UN Security Council of January 14 pointed out: “Notwithstanding sustained and positive engagement between state authorities and Unamid, corroborating reports on human rights incidents in Central Darfur continued to be a challenge.”

In September 2018, however, the SLM-AW announced a ceasefire to facilitate access and relief aid to a landslide-affected area in East Jebel Marra. Abdelgader Gadoura, commander-in-chief of the movement, said in November that although the SLM-AW has declared a ceasefire, the regime has continued to breach the agreement.

As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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