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Sudanese forces storm IDPs camp in West Darfur in search of weapons

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Some 63,000 IDPs sought refuge in a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's team site in Sortoni, North Darfur on 23 April 2016 (Photo UNAMID/Mohamed al-Mahady)
November 20, 2017 (KHARTOUM) -A joint government force on Monday has raided Abu Zar camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in West Darfur state as part of the forcible phase of the disarmament campaign.

Last August, the Sudanese authorities launched a six-month disarmament campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.

A joint police, army and security forces on Monday have stormed Abu Zar camp in Al-Jebel neighbourhood in West Darfur state capital, El-Gineina.

The governor of West Darfur state Fadl al-Mula Al-Haga told reporters the Abu Zar camp residents have welcomed the disarmament campaign particularly those living in section 9 of the camp.

He said the “IDPs have received the arms inspection with joy”, stressing the government wouldn’t tolerate the arms bearers.

Al-Haga pointed out that the IDPs in West Darfur look forward to implementing the arms collection campaign in order to achieve stability, vowing to impose state authority and provide security for all state residents.

He added all components of the local community in West Darfur are cooperating with the regular forces to implement the compulsory phase of the disarmament campaign.

The Sudanese government in September notified the United Nations of the presence of weapons inside IDPs camps in Darfur, saying it poses a serious danger to camps residents.

Earlier this month, the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) called on the Sudanese government and the IDPs to work with the Mission “in a collaborative way in order to advance the weapons collection campaign.”

The call came after a show of force by the Sudanese government forces which surrounded some parts of the Kalma camp in South Darfur state before to withdraw on 2 November.

Also, the residents of Kalma camp rejected the government forcible arms collection in the camp and called to leave the operation for the UNAMID.

(ST)

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