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North Darfur sets ultimatum for voluntary handover of illegal arms

A Sudanese soldier collects weapons voluntarily surrendered by residents in South Darfur State, Sudan, on Sept. 23, 2017 (Xinhua photo)
October 15, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - The locality of El-Fasher, North Darfur capital said next Thursday would be the last day for the voluntary handover of illegal arms before the start of the forcible collection of weapons.

The commissioner of El-Fasher locality Al-Tijani Abdallah Salih Sunday told reporters that they have assigned three centres for the voluntary handover of weapons within the locality.

He said the voluntary handover of arms would begin on Sunday and until Thursday, pointing that the forcible collection of weapons would start immediately after the end of the specified period.

Salih called upon the residents to rush to hand over their weapons to the specified centres, demanding them to support the relevant committee and notify it about any illegal arms in the locality.

He stressed that the security organs at all levels are ready to carry out the forcible collection of arms and control any negative phenomena.

Last August, the Sudanese government launched a six-month disarmament campaign 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 mandatory phase of the campaign would generate armed clashes in the region between his militia and the government forces.

North Darfur state recently witnessed a recrudescence of violence and kidnapping of foreign aid workers

Last week, North Darfur Governor Abdel Wahid Youssef Nahar welcomed the arrival of 10,000 elements from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in his state saying the will contribute to establishing security in the troubled state.

The 10,000 militiamen are also expected to participate in the mandatory phase of the weapon collection operation.

(ST)