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Sudan’s VP warns they will kill anyone defying weapons collection campaign

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Weapons and vehicles including two ambulances captured from Darfur rebels by the RSF in Ain Siro on 1 June 2017 (ST photo)

August 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Vice President Sunday said presidential directives have been issued to kill those who may resist the arms-collection campaign and accused unidentified officials of promoting weapons, saying if needed they may lift their immunity.

"The government represented by the national campaign to collect weapons from the conflict zones in the states of Darfur and Kordofan regions gave a full mandate to the regular forces based on the "shoot to kill" (as he said in English) policy to deal with the recalcitrant who resist the campaign," said Hasabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman who also heads the Higher Arms Collection Committee.

In a speech at the launch of a campaign in support of the disarmament by the forum of political parties’ women, Abdel Rahman further warned they will deal roughly with the "warlords" who stand against the collection of weapons.

"We will arrest all the warlords who are behind the spread of chaos and arms in Sudan and bring them to trial, even if it requires the lifting of immunities for some constitutionalists who promote weapons through the social media while they reside in the capital Khartoum," he further said.

The strongly worded statements come as the Sudanese vice president was slammed last week by the tribal leader Musa Hilal who rejects the disarmament campaign and the merger of his Border Guards militia in the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Hilal and Abdel Rahman both belong to the Rizeiggat ethnic group but this didn’t prevent the senior official and the notorious militia leader from threatening each other through the.social media and public statements.

The tribal leader says he was betrayed by the government despite all what he did in the counterinsurgency campaign in the past years pointing that they appointed one of his commanders, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti), at the head of the RSF militia which is not part of the national army, a matter that undermines his tribal authority.

The vice president stressed that the government from now onwards will not tolerate those carrying arms, saying that it is one of the threats to security and social peace in the country.

The government "will not tolerate these people, if necessary we will put them in prison in exchange for restoring stability and security for citizens," he added.

The Sudanese official announced that the government has closed 63 crossing points on the border with the neighbouring countries to prevent arms trafficking to the country.

He further pointed to the devastating effect of weapons in the tribal clashes saying 135 people were killed in recent fighting over land in West Kordofan and 89 victims in East Darfur.

The detractors of the weapons collection campaign say the government has to achieve peace first and to disarm all the tribes in Darfur pointing that the RSF is formed mainly from Arab militia in Darfur and they will use their arms to defend it whenever needed.

(ST)

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