The governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Arabi, announced in the state capital El Fasher on Monday that an understanding has been reached with the federal government to process, through normal customs procedures, more than 100,000 vehicles that were smuggled into the country.
The governor said that the North Darfur Security Committee decided, in accordance with that understanding, to form a specialised committee in charge of counting and registering these cars, granting them temporary licence plates to be able to obtain fuel.
Arabi added that despite the federal government’s failure to stop the smuggling of vehicles into the country, which represent a security threat, the vehicles have greatly contributed to providing job opportunities for large numbers of young people in the state as drivers, assistant drivers, and transportation aides. He said there has also been a benefit to people working in some marginal occupations, especially in light of the difficult living conditions in the country.
In this regard, he said it is important to address the issue of these vehicles carefully and allow sufficient time for them to be to counted and registered.
In August, the Security Committee of El Fasher, announced a decision to ban all unregistered vehicles in the state. North Darfur’s Governor Mohamed Arabi directed the competent authorities to list all unregistered vehicles, pending official registration.
According to the decision, unregistered vehicles will be allowed to move with temporary registration plates while their full registration is finalised. Known in the area as ‘Boko Haram’ vehicles, many of them are illegally imported from West Africa.
Concerns have also been highlighted in a new report, published by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), that states that Millions of used motor vehicles exported from the US, Europe, and Japan to developing countries are of poor quality and are contributing significantly to air pollution. According to the report, 80 per cent of the 14 million used light-duty vehicles – saloon cars, SUVs, and minibuses – exported between 2015 and 2018 went to low and middle-income countries. About 40 per cent went to Africa.
The EU is the largest exporter of used vehicles, sending 7.5m, mostly to north and west Africa. But the age and poor quality of the vehicles is hindering efforts to mitigate the climate crisis, says the report.
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