Sudan V-P in North Darfur to prepare for illegal arms collection
This week, Second Vice-President Hasabo Abdelrahman will chair the first meeting with the five governors of Darfur about the disarmament campaign scheduled to start before the end of this year.
The Governor of North Darfur, Abdelwahid Yousif, said in a press statement on Sunday that Abdelrahman would arrive in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, today, to discuss the state’s plan for the collection of unlicensed arms with the governors of the five states of Darfur.
The disarmament campaign will start in Darfur and Kordofan, but will definitely include all states of the country. The holding of weapons will be restricted to the regular forces.
The vice-president is expected to meet with state's security committees, and legislative, justice and local leaders, the official Sudan News Agency reported on Sunday.
Yousif confirmed the readiness of the North Darfur authorities to implement the arms collection, and support tribal and social reconciliation processes after a secure situation has been reached.
After chairing a meeting of the Higher Commission for the Collection of Unlicensed Firearms and Vehicles last week, the second vice-president issued a statement “for those holding illegal weapons, ammunitions, or unregistered cars”.
According to Presidential Decree 419 of 2017, illegal weapons, ammunition, and vehicles are to be handed immediately to the Sudan Armed Forces, the state commissioner, or the nearest military or police unit.
The statement said that the competent authorities will organise a comprehensive campaign for the collection of unlicensed firearms, ammunitions, and explosives., and called on illegal arms holders to cooperate with the Sudan Armed Forces (the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces).
Any legal action will be taken in line with Sudan’s Criminal Law, the Public Safety Act, and the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1986.
According to El Sadig El Mahdi, President of the opposition National Umma Party, the restoration of stability in Darfur, “is hostage to the ending of tribal disputes and system of land ownership (hawakeer), apart from the collection of illegal weapons”.
In a public meeting in River Nile state on Saturday, El Mahdi expressed the readiness of his party to contribute to the disarmament campaign.
The opposition leader called for the need to collect weapons through a national campaign involving all political forces and civil society organisations.
“The coordination between the native administration leaders is the biggest guarantor for the success of the campaign,” he said.
In a speech on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) on Friday, Minni Minawi, the head of the SLM-MM, appealed to all armed movements in the country, especially the various SLM factions, to reunite again and end the oppression by Khartoum.
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