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Minibus drivers protest ‘hasty’ North Kordofan ban

September 17 - 2019 EL OBEID / EL FASHER
Unregistered vehicles seized in Darfur during a previous illegal vehicles and arms collection campaign (file photo)
Unregistered vehicles seized in Darfur during a previous illegal vehicles and arms collection campaign (file photo)

Owners of HiAce minibuses staged a protest in front of the government buildings in the state capital El Obeid, in protest against the decision of the governor to prohibit them from transporting passengers in the state. The five states of Darfur have banned movement of unregistered vehicles.

The more than 260 minibus drivers gathered in front of the office of the governor in El Obeid. They described the decision unfair; it has brought their business to a halt. They complained that “the decision is not thoughtful and taken hastily”.

They accuse travel bus owners of fraud and exercising undue influence on the chairman of the Transport Chamber in the state. They affirm that the decision that will displace their families and inflict heavy losses on the owners of vehicles.

They did not-rule out that a number of them will [in all probability] be imprisoned for not paying financial obligations on the vehicles.

Darfur boko haram crackdown

The governor (wali) of North Darfur has officially banned the movement of unregistered (popularly known as boko haram) cars and vehicles imported from Libya since the beginning of this year without customs procedures. They are estimated to number in tens of thousands.

Speaking from the North Darfur capital of El Fasher, the wali said that the decision to prevent the movement of unregistered cars was taken in coordination between the five states of Darfur to legalise cars in all the five states, pointing out that the cars coming from neighbouring countries to Sudan through the borders of Darfur “has become a federal matter”.

The wali said that the states of Darfur are in contact with the federal government and the General Administration of Customs to find the necessary remedies for this matter.

Dozens of members of the Second-Hand Car Professionals Union staged a protest in front of the Secretariat of the government of North Darfur demanding the legalisation of these cars and vehicles, and not to close the door for imports.

After receiving the memorandum, the governor instructed owners of unregulated vehicles to abide by this decision until further notice.

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