Two days left to register unlicensed vehicles in North Darfur
Wednesday is the last day before the deadline to register unlicensed vehicles in North Darfur, in terms of an ultimatum issued by the North Darfur High Commission for the Collection of Unlicensed Firearms and Vehicles.
The deadline announced by the High Commission earlier this month indicates that the last possibility to register unlicensed vehicles at the customs administration offices in the state capital of El Fasher or in Zamzam, Zurog, and El Malha would be between September 11 and 19.
The alternative will be confiscation by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main government militia.
The owners of the vehicles have to bring documents that prove their ownership of the cars. In the event they do not show up during the specified one-week period, they will lose their right to register.
The head of the High Commission, Maj. Gen. Eisa Adam, announced the registration and licensing of 1,870 vehicles in the presence of their owners at Zurog area in North Darfur have been completed in preparation for the completion of customs procedures in accordance with the Customs Act.
While he did not quote numbers, Gen. Adam said that other vehicles are still unregistered due to incomplete papers or the absence of owners.
In early July, witnesses told Radio Dabanga that about 12,000 vehicles were being held by the RSF in the area of Zurog.
Independent MP Siham Hasan told Radio Dabanga that she considers the latest deadline far from enough. “Most of the car owners are now tending their farms. Moreover, it is not very safe on the roads, as armed robberies are rife in the area.”
Gen. Adam stressed that Wednesday September 19 day of this month is the last day for inventory and registration of these vehicles.
He said that the committee visited the localities of Mellit and El Malha, and also Zamzam camp, during which it stood on the preparation of unlicensed vehicles, which had earlier been seized by the RSF in those areas. He said that the committee also stood on El Malha locality’s arrangements for the establishment of a customs station.
For years, the authorities in Darfur are trying to curb the rampant insecurity in the region. Unregistered vehicles (imported or militia-owned), the wearing of a turban covering the face (kadamool) and the carrying of weapons by civilians have all been banned.
In August last year, army forces and the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main militia, began implementing a major disarmament campaign in Darfur. In end December however, the Governor of North Darfur acknowledged that the arms collection did not lead to the planned results that far. He pointed to the large spread of weapons in the state, and stressed that there was “still a long way to go”.
Many people in Darfur, at a distance of more than 800 kilometres from Khartoum, buy cars smuggled from Chad, Niger and a number of west African countries. These so-called Boko Haram cars are usually not registered by the new owners. Other unlicensed vehicles are cars used by (former) militiamen for private purposes.
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