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Armed pastoralists closes Darfur main road

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Buses stopped on the El-Fasher -Nyala road (ST File Photo)

December 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Armed pastoralists Monday closed the road linking Nyala and El-Fasher the capital towns of South and North Darfur states and seized passenger buses in Darbat area, in East Jebel Mara locality , 160 kilometers west of Nyala.

The nomad said they intend to protest against the theft of 250 camels by an armed gang in Kator area on the border between North and South Darfur. The unknown armed robbers drove the stolen camels to the mountainous areas of Jebel Marra.

On Tuesday, eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that a group of armed pastoralists Monday had ambushed a convoy of passenger buses in Darabt area and seized 25 commercial trucks coming from Nyala.

The armed militia refused to release the passengers until they get back their stolen camels and threatened to permanently close the road if armed robbery continues in the area, according to the eye witnesses.

The security committee in East Jebel Marra headed by Commissioner Hassan Adam, met pastoralists representatives and secured the release of passengers and the trucks.

But the armed men refused to open the strategic road to Darbat for traffic, forcing the trucks coming from Nyala to return to Al-Wihada locality and the trucks coming from El-Fasher and Khartoum to go back to El-Fasher.

The security committee in East Jebel Marra County has contacted the commissioner of Tawilla distric in North Darfur and discussed ways to return the stolen camels and secure the joint borders between the two localities.

A local merchant in Darabt, Mohamed Yagoub, told Sudan Tribune that some 65 trucks usually arrive to the weekly Monday market in the area from Nyala, El-Fasher and Omdurman to transport the local products especially fruits. He added that the road closure caused them severe financial damage.

Darfur has been a flashpoint for lawlessness and violence since t2033 when armed groups took up arms against the Khartoum government. The government says it forces pacified the region, but armed gangs continue to carry out criminal activities.

Sudanese authorities vowed to protect civilians and to collect arms but its plans to disarm militias are not yet implemented.

The United Nations estimates as many as 300,000 people have been killed and almost 3 million people have been displaced during the ongoing conflict. According to the UN Human Rights Council, 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced.

(ST)

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