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Public free-for-all after former UNAMID base in North Darfur looted by ‘armed gang’

April 5 - 2022 EL FASHER
The second round of looting at the former UNAMID base in El Fasher, in January this year (File photo)
The second round of looting at the former UNAMID base in El Fasher, in January this year (File photo)

The former United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) headquarters in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, was subjected to armed looting on Monday – the third incident in recent months.

Witnesses confirmed to Radio Dabanga that an armed force driving a vehicle mounted with a ‘Dushka’ heavy machinegun opened heavy fire at 21:00 on Monday evening. They then looted the base before fleeing.

After the armed men departed, witnesses say there was a public free-for-all until the early hours of the morning. The crowd was dispersed by riot police using tear gas.

In early February, two members of the Sudanese Joint forces and several attackers were killed after armed bandits – believed to be former rebel fighters – attempted to loot the former UNAMID base.

The base in El Fasher was initially plundered on December 24-25 last year, and was subsequently cleared of much of what was left in a second round of looting in early January. The warehouses of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the North Darfur capital were raided December 29.

The prevailing lawlessness in much of Darfur is impacting international organisations more often. On March 19, The drivers of two lorries of commercial transporters, carrying goods for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), were stopped, and robbed of their valuables by armed men riding motorcycles in North Darfur. The WFP confirmed that after being robbed of their valuables, the drivers were left to proceed, and in this instance, there was no looting of any WFP commodities.

A day earlier, the Wali (governor) of North Darfur, Nimir Abdelrahman, had affirmed his government’s commitment to providing the necessary protection to UN agencies and international organisations working in the state so that they can perform their work. He also called on the organisations to intensify their efforts to provide the best humanitarian aid to those in need.

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