March 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – In a meeting with the governor of South Darfur Hamad Ismail, members of the Chamber of Commerce in the state described the situation in the state as “terrifying” because of the breakdown in security coupled with kidnappings including one of a businessman named Abdul-Karim Ibrahim who is better known as Al-Nagar.
- A picture taken on February 22, 2013 shows the remains of a house destroyed in a bombing by Sudan’s air force on Derib al Reih village in South Darfur state (Getty Images)
This, they said, warrants arming every businessman and offering bodyguards to them.
The head of Nyala’s Chamber of Commerce Moussa Abdel-Azim said in press statements that merchants have suffered from fees and levies imposed on them by the rebel groups.
He pointed out that their meeting with the governor discussed the recent security crisis in the state adding that they handed the governor a memo asking for securing individuals, traders, commercial raft, Nyala, night markets and the movement of commercial convoys.
Abdel-Azim mentioned that the memo offered some solutions to which the governor responded by promising to sit with the state’s security committee to discuss their proposed solutions.
He also disclosed that the commercial raft is now in the city of Al-Dua’iyn and will arrive in Nyala today.
In a related issue, the Workers Union of South Darfur’s Buram locality declared suspension of work starting Monday due to non-payment of salaries which amounts to 648,000 pounds for the month of February.
The head of the Education Workers Trade Union in the locality of Bram, Khauf Zaki Khauf said in a press statement that workers decided to stay home rather than demonstrating and protesting on the streets.
He said that local authorities used the loose security situation as an excuse for not transferring salaries to Buram and asserted their intention to stay at home until this issue is resolved.
War broke out in the western region of Darfur over a decade ago and has raged ever since despite two peace accords and the presence of the world’s largest peacekeeping mission.
While violence is down from its peak in 2003 and 2004, new fighting has forced more than 130,000 people to flee their homes since the start of the year, according to the United Nations.