Kutum and El Walha localities in North Darfur can soon expect the arrival of more police and judicial organs, after a state of lawlessness for nearly four years. Residents said that the police are unable to protect them.
People in Kutum are skeptical about the announcement of the Commissioners of Kutum and El Waha localities, a resident told Radio Dabanga. He interpretets the arrival of more police forces as an act of propaganda.
“The police have begun to spread inside and outside Kutum town, and move to other locations,” he said. “The Commissioner was lying when he announced the arrival of police forces before. They operate without any mandates or powers and are incapable to protect themselves, let alone protecting the citizens.”
Residents in Kutum appealed to the authorities and the Interior Ministry to activate the police and judicial organs, that would enable them to protect the population.
Three military staff died in an attack by militiamen in Kutum on 5 June, and the Commissioner confirmed tensions between a paramilitary group and the Sudanese army that resulted in the attack on the military convoy. Residents of Kutum reportedly stayed in their homes as streets became nearly empty.
Until November last year, Kutum lacked regular police forces to maintain order, and the 55,000 town residents had been living in a security vacuum for nearly four years. Since then, authorities have carried out a large security campaign in the town, seizing weapons from people wearing civilian clothes, fining those wearing face-covering garments in public places, and seizing motorcycles.