Militiamen abducted a merchant for ransom in Kutum town on Sunday. Today, traders and shopkeepers in Kutum embarked on a strike, in protest against the increasing number of abductions of merchants and armed robberies. Late this afternoon, a trader was kidnapped from a commercial vehicle in the vicinity of Birkat Seira.
A group of militiamen in a Land Cruiser, mounted with a Dushka machinegun stopped Ishag Ibrahim El Maghrebi when he was on his way home from his shop in downtown Kutum,” a relative of the victim told Dabanga.
“Today, the kidnappers contacted us, demanding a ransom of SDG300.300 million ($550,500) for his release,” he said.
The relative called upon the authorities to intervene, and release El Maghrebi, “especially since the perpetrators are well-known in the area”.
In response, the traders and shop keepers in Kutum town decided to strike today, in protest against the repeated abductions and robberies by militiamen.
A passenger of a commercial vehicle intercepted by militiamen near Birkat Seira in Saraf Umra locality in North Darfur late this afternoon, reported to Dabanga that a merchant was abducted.
“We were on our way in a commercial Nisan vehicle from Garnoi in Central Darfur to Birkat Seira, when seven government-backed militiamen in a Land Cruiser intercepted us in the area of Bela Furash,” he related.
“The gunmen seized Abdelaziz Mohamed Abdallah at gunpoint, and took him to an unknown destination.”