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Gunmen hijack government official’s car in South Darfur

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March 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – An unidentified armed group has hijacked the car of the humanitarian aid commissioner of Baleel locality in South Darfur state, Mohamed Abdel-Karim, an official said.

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A Sudanese military tank is stationed near a Sudanese security facility in the city of Nyala, in the Darfur region, on July 4, 2013 (Getty)

Gamal Youssef said on Thursday that an armed group of six people had hijacked Abdel-Karim’s vehicle while he was returning from Nyala trade fair on Wednesday night in al-Nasim neighborhood in South Darfur capital Nyala.

The assailants forced the commissioner and his family to get out of the car before they stole it and fled.

Meanwhile, South Darfur state governor, Adam Mahmoud Jar Al-Nabi, defended the Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF), affirming they are disciplined units that have never violated the law in the state.

He added the RDF is well trained, noting they managed to recover part of the people’s properties which were stolen in recent rebel attacks.

The RDF is a paramilitary force locally known as Janjaweed militias. They were mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.

Jar Al-Nabi maintained the right of the states’ governments to sign peace deals with splinter factions of the armed rebel groups.

According to the pro-government Ashorooq TV on Thursday, the governor denied that they seek to weaken the rebel groups through signing peace deals with splinter factions, saying those factions resort to signing peace deals with the government because they lack a unified leadership.

He noted that leaders of the various armed groups including the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement/AW (SPLM-AW), Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nor, and leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement/MM (SPLM-MM), Minni Arko Minnawi, are living abroad.

Jar Al-Nabi further underscored that success of peace deals signed between states’ governments and the breakaway factions is contingent upon support of the federal government, saying states’ governments can’t bear the consequences of the deals particularly those relating to security arrangements.

He disclosed existence of a committee headed by the deputy state governor to negotiate with any splinter faction that wishes to engage in peace talks, asserting they only engage in negotiations after getting approval of the federal government.

Jar Al-Nabi acknowledged failure of several peace deals signed with splinter factions previously, attributing reasons of failure to lack of coordination with the federal government.

“The federal government must be notified prior to engaging in negotiations with any outlawed group,” he said

The Darfur region is witnessing an escalating tribal violence and armed clashes between the Sudanese army and armed rebel groups.

Late last month, the head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani El-Sissi, warned against the rapidly deteriorating security situation in North and South Darfur states and criticised government for failing to restore security in the region, which has witnessed rebellion since 2003.

Sissi further said that the insecurity in North and South Darfur hampers the implementation of development projects.

"What happens there will not be a catalyst to start in any reconstruction effort in those areas," he added.

He urged the federal government to take the necessary measures to contain the attacks carried by the rebel groups, emphasising that the continuation of the current situation without a decisive riposte or political solution will negatively impact the DDPD, peace in Darfur and the country in general.

(ST)

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