Gunmen steal cash from stores in South Darfur capital

An armed group breaks into nine stores in Nyala market after sawing holes in the roofs, making many merchants openly question the security measures in the city.

An armed group managed to break into nine stores in the market of Nyala and seized large amounts of money on Wednesday night. Merchants gathered in the streets to express their fear of a return of lawlessness to the capital of South Darfur.

The robbers broke into the stores after sawing holes in the roofs. Hundreds of merchants in Nyala gathered on Thursday to protest against the repeated attacks on markets. They openly questioned how the robbers managed to enter the market despite a night curfew and ban on carrying weapons, one of many security measures imposed by the state.

A security source said that preliminary data indicates that seasoned criminals were behind the robbery on Wednesday. The robbers used advanced cutters and took advantage of a security vacuum caused by tribal conflict in Buram and Gereida localities, he told told Sudan Tribune.

The head of the state’s chamber of commerce, Mousa Abdelazim, said in press statements that an emergency meeting with the local security committee discussed precautions to prevent recurrence of this incident. Precautions mentioned were surveillance cameras and strengthening police checkpoints, among others.

In July 2014, the South Darfur state authorities imposed a number of emergency measures in an attempt to curb the lawlessness. An Emergency Court was established in August, to speedily try offenders of the measures that banned the wearing of turbans which cover the face (kadamool), the carrying of weapons by civilians, riding a motorcycle with more than one person, and the use of unregistered cars and motorcycles.

The situation in South Darfur became more dangerous over the last year, with recurrent incidents of looting, banditry and murder, including from pro-government militias.