August 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Local authorities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur have introduced an additional set of security measures to protect road movement in response to increased carjacking incidents, an official announced on Monday.
According to Ibrahim Ahmad Madibo, the minister of culture, media and tourism at Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), the new measures are designed to prevent the occurrence of carjacking to government vehicles.
Madibo pointed out, as reported by Sudan official news agency SUNA, that these measures involve increasing the number of guards of government convoys as well as banning the movement of DRA vehicles at night times unless under emergency circumstances.
The DRA announcement follows the assassination last week of the mayor of Al-Waha locality in Kutum area of North Darfur in an ambush by unknown armed men. It also follows the carjacking by unknown gunmen on Saturday, 4 August, of a vehicle carrying 350,000 USD dollars bound for the UN-AU peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur State.
Madibo expressed his regret over the killing of Al-Waha mayor, warning that such incidents could lead to destabilizing effects on DTRA plans for reconstruction, peace and voluntary returns in the region.
The DRA exists in parallel to Darfur state governments in order to oversee the implementation of the Darfur Doha Document for Peace (DDDP) which was signed in mid-July last year between the government and the former Darfur rebel group Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by Al-Tijani Al-Sisis who now heads the DTRA.
The DDDP is hoped to end the region’s 11-year conflict which receded in intensity over recent years but the region continues to grapple with incidents of banditry, tribal clashes and intermittent attacks by the rebel groups that refused to join the peace process.
In a related context, the government of North Darfur announced the formation of two investigation committees to probe the assassination of Al-Waha mayor in Kutum. The Sudanese army (SAF) announced on Sunday that it was increasing its deployment in Kutum amid rumors of clashes between its forces and Janjaweed militiamen trying to avenge the killing of the mayor who belongs to Al-Mahamid Arab tribe.
The Sudanese Media Center (SMC), a pro-government news website, said that on Sunday that two soldiers were killed and two were wounded when SAF moved into Kutum to restore order.
UNMAID also said it received reports that four people were killed and six were injured when gunmen attacked Kassab IDP camp near Kutum on 1 August.