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Mixed feelings over arms collection in Sudan’s West Kordofan

August 17 - 2017 WEST KORDOFAN
Arms and ammunition collected in Darfur (File photo: Unamid).
Arms and ammunition collected in Darfur (File photo: Unamid).

The residents of West Kordofan have greeted the decision by Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir to collect weapons with mixed reactions.

On Wednesday activists who spoke to Radio Dabanga from West Kordofan reported that the official authorities welcomed the decision, while the community was divided between supporting and rejecting the decision.

They said the supporters believed that the decision would put an end to the security chaos and tribal fighting in the state.

They pointed out that the danger and security threat in the region is the spread of weapons distributed by the government to various militias loyal to it along with the motorcycles.

They asserts that crimes and assaults on the roads was relatively fewer following the issuance of the banning decision but did not end completely because of the spread of weapons in the hands of the clans and tribes.

Other sectors in West Kordofan have rejected the decision to collect weapons.

Activists said the nomadic pastoralist sectors have rejected the decision as a threat to their interests, pointing to the specialty of their security situation and their nearness to South Sudan, as well as the areas controlled by the SPLM-N in South Kordofan.

They highlighted that the security situation does not allow the collection of weapons unless full stability occurs in the region.

Since the enforcement of the decision to collect weapons is more effective, the activists explained that the weapons in the hands of the government militias can be disarmed but on the condition of forming neutral committees to do so.

The pastoral communities, which are not stable, are prone to movement and difficult to follow.

They said that the amount of weapons distributed in the state is very large, especially in the hands of civilians armed by the government during the battle of Heglig* in 2012.

*The Second Battle of Heglig was an armed South Sudan-Sudan border conflict that broke out on 10 April 2012.

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