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Darfur forcible weapons collection to start at mid-October

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Photo taken on Sept. 23, 2017 shows weapons voluntarily surrendered by residents in South Darfur State, Sudan. (Xinhua Photo)

October 2, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Darfur weapons collection campaign which is currently voluntary, will become forcible at mid-October, the Sudanese government decided on Monday.

In a meeting chaired by Vice President Hassabo Abdel Rahman, the higher committee for the collection of weapons and unregulated vehicles decided to start the forcible phase of the campaign in all the states of Sudan on 15 October.

Launched last August, the six-month campaign aims to eliminate weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.

The Sudanese authorities say the spread of weapons among the rival tribes in the region is one of the main causes of Darfur’s instability.

However, some tribal leaders, such as Musa Hilal refuse to hand over their arms and defy the government. Observers fear that the second phase would generate armed clashes in the region between his militia and the government forces.

The meeting, which included all the governors of the concerned states, was briefed on the ongoing process but nothing flirted from the meeting.

In a statement on Monday after the meeting, the government said the arms collection operation has produced "a positive effect on the security, stability and development" in the region.

(ST)

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