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South Darfur kicks off disarmament campaign

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August 16, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The governor of South Darfur state Adam al-Faki announced the completion of all technical and administrative arrangements to launch the disarmament campaign on Tuesday.

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South Darfur governor Adam al-Faki (ST Photo)

Speaking at a press conference in Nyala on Wednesday, al-Faki directed the residents to hand over their weapons to the nearest police station or army unit, saying the residents in some localities have already begun to hand over their arms.

According to the official news agency SUNA, al-Faki praised the traditional leaders for agreeing to collect the illegal weapons, saying the security forces, prosecution offices and the courts are ready to implement the disarmament campaign.

He pointed out the arms would be collected voluntarily in the first phase, saying the regular forces would conduct search raids to collect the arms forcibly in the second phase of the campaign.

The governor disclosed the customs services would allow 10 days for registering the unregulated vehicles, saying any vehicles that entered the state after 20 July would be seized until the presidency issues a decree in this regard.

For his part, the commander of the army’s16th Infantry division Major Gen. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim stressed readiness of the joint forces to carry out the disarmament campaign, saying they started to collect illegal weapons from tribesmen and armed groups.

He pointed to an integrated plan to secure and monitor the border crossings to prevent arms smuggling, saying the residents are willing to hand over their weapons.

Also, South Darfur’s police director Major Gen. Balla Mohamed al-Hassan said the presidential directives to collect illegal weapons have been implemented, saying the campaign began by controlling the arms of the regular forces.

He called on the residents to cooperate with the security forces to carry out the disarmament campaign, saying all illegal arms would be collected at any time and place.

During a visit to Darfur’s five states in April 2016, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir said there is a need to collect illegal weapons from the hands of civilians, admitting that tribal clashes have become the first source of violence that displaced thousands of civilians in Darfur.

He said there will be a first phase where people will be called to voluntarily hand over their arms, adding that the second step will be heavy disarmament operations and legal action will be taken against those who didn’t deliver their weapons.

The government then formed Darfur Disarmament Higher Committee (DDHC) under the chairmanship of the Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman.

However, since last month the government stepped up its rhetoric regarding the collection of illegal weapons as the Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf threatening to collect illegal weapons from the residents even if it requires the use of force.

(ST)

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