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Sudan MPs demand expulsion of ‘African religious groups’

March 29 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Closed shops at the market of Kutum in North Darfur (file photo)
Closed shops at the market of Kutum in North Darfur (file photo)

An independent Member of Parliament from North Darfur demanded the immediate expulsion of foreign religious groups that have settled in Kutum locality for the past days.

MP El Tayeb Ahmed Ibrahim made his demands to the Foreign Ministry during a recent parliamentary meeting. His claims state that armed groups of Malian and Nigerian nationalities have settled in Disa, 35 kilometres north of Kutum, for ten days. His fears are that they are affiliated to extremist Islamists.

“There are doubts that the groups, consisting of 430 persons, belong to El Tarigah El Tijaniya that has come from Mabruka in Sennar state. And, that they arrived under the protection of Rapid Support militias,” Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga.

He said that the foreign group initially entered El Malha in the north, but that the inhabitants refused their settlement and demanded they leave. According to Ibrahim they then moved towards Disa under the protection of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. People in Disa also demanded that the group leave, “fearing that they might be extremist or terrorist.

“I contacted the Governor of North Darfur and the Commissioner of Kutum about the identities of the foreigners, but they told me that they have no idea about them. The Governor has promised to deport the groups to El Fasher and then out of Sudan, to another destination.”

Ibrahim said an investigation into the reasons behind their entry to Darfur, whether it was intentional or voluntarily, will start.

One of the MPs queried why the state had no knowledge about the settling of the groups

MP Siham Hassan Hasabullah also strongly condemned the entry of the foreigners into Darfur and demanded North Darfur authorities immediately deport the groups from the state. She said she would raise the matter of the groups from Mali and Nigeria urgently with the Ministers of Defence, Interior, and Foreign Affairs during the first parliamentary sessions.

She further queried why these groups came under the protection and of the RSF, whether they entered the Sudanese territory without the knowledge of the authorities in North Darfur, and why the authorities in North Darfur have so far not recognised the identity of these groups

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