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Police detain, block South Darfur market strikers

July 21 - 2017 KASS
Militiamen walk across a market in Darfur (file photo)
Militiamen walk across a market in Darfur (file photo)

Shop owners in Kass, South Darfur, refused to open their doors for the fourth day in a row. Security service members tried to break their strike by apprehending residents and blocking shop doors.

The continued abduction of merchant Adam Abdallah, who was kidnapped by militiamen on Sunday, sparked the protest. Northern Kass locality witnessed three separate abductions this month, all of which involved ransom.

Sources in Kass reported that the strike was continued on Thursday, while police and security service put pressure on the shop owners. Security agents closed the doors of a number of shops in the market with padlocks, without notifying the owners.

Policemen detained several residents and merchants. A man named Shummein was detained for four hours, a source said.

A crowd of people held a sit-in in protest against the insecurity in the area and the abductions at the house of Amir Tijani yesterday. The protest coincided with the arrival of the new loclity commissioner who addressed the crowd. He listened to the complaints about the repeated kidnappings and deprivation of the displaced people.

People also complained about the issues for farmers, in particular north of Kass, were herders reportedly let their cattle graze too early in the harvest season and repated abductions take place.

Several witnesses speaking to Radio Dabanga accused the security service to be behind the frequent abdutions. An activist claimed: “The security apparatus causes crises, especially in the trade of flour and fuel. They employ militiamen to conduct the abductions of traders, also in Nyala.”

East Jebel Marra

On Wednesday, gunmen kidnapped Ayoub Yousif Abakar and Abdel Halim Osman Hamed near Katur in East Jebel Marra, and demanded the payment of SDG150,000 ($22,385) for their release.

One of the relatives of the kidnapped told Radio Dabanga that four bandits, riding camels, intercepted the two men while they were on their way from Katur market to Bura village on Wednesday.

He said the militants took the two men by force of arms, to an unknown destination. “The kidnappers then called the families of the kidnapped and demanded them to pay the ransom.”  

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