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Central Darfur closes roads leading to Golo area: governor

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A photo released on 1 March 2018 showing an UNAMID integrated team conducts a humanitarian and security assessment mission to Golo and Rokero, Central Darfur ( UNAMID Photo)
March 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Governor of Central Darfur State Ga’afar Abdel-Hakam said they closed some roads in Golo and Nirtiti areas to prevent what he described as "criminal activities" carried out by the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW).

Speaking during a meeting with a delegation from the U.S. embassy in Khartoum led by the head of the political section Alice Payne, Abdel-Hakam claimed the SLM-AW elements stole cattle from some shepherds during the last couple of days.

According to Ashorooq TV, Abdel-Hakam also accused the rebels of causing the deadly fire that destroyed a number of villages in the state last week.

The governor pointed out that the security situation in the state is stable following the decision of President Omer al-Bashir to extend the unilateral cessation of hostilities for six months in all war zones.

Also, he briefed the visiting delegation on the humanitarian situation, saying the disarmament campaign has contributed significantly to ending tribal clashes in the region.

Since August 2017, the Sudanese authorities launched a campaign to collect illegal weapons. The campaign, which would be implemented across the country, began by disarming tribes and civilians in Kordofan and Darfur.

Last year, the UN Security Council decided to reduce the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), admitting that the security situation has improved but it decided to reinforce its presence in Jebel Marra because there is no cessation of hostilities as the SLM-AW refuses to declare it unilaterally or to engage in peace negotiations.

Golo area, which is located in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra, is at 56 km. east of Central Darfur state capital; Zalingei. It was the first area attacked by the rebels in February 2003.

In a report to the UN Security Council on 22 February 2018, the UNAMID reported some clashes between the government and the SLM-AW fighters who resisted the weapons collection campaign, currently taking place in the Central Darfur.

The Sudanese army has been fighting armed groups in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)

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