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U.S. warns citizens against travel to Darfur and Two Areas

A truck loaded with marchandises and vehicles imported from Libya in North Darfur
July 2, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The United States has warned its citizens against the risk of terrorist and criminal attacks in Sudan troubled areas, saying they should avoid travelling to Darfur region, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan.

“Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Sudan, especially in Khartoum. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by Westerners. Terrorist groups in Sudan have stated their intent to harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide operations, bombings, shootings, and kidnappings” said the State Department in a travel advisory released on Monday.

According to the travel warning, “violent crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking, is particularly prevalent in the Darfur region. Westerners are frequently targeted”.

“Tensions remain high between the government of Sudan and opposition forces and violence continues along the border between Chad and Sudan and areas that border South Sudan (including the disputed area of Abyei). Armed opposition groups are active in Central Darfur and parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states,” added the travel warning

It pointed out to the state of emergency in Kassala and North Kordofan states, which gives security forces greater arrest powers saying “arbitrary detentions, including of foreigners, have been reported across the country”.

Unidentified gunmen on 7 October 2017 abducted a Swiss aid worker from her residence in El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. She was released unharmed thirty-five days later.

Also, in March 2017, a French national kidnapped in eastern Chad near the border with Sudan’s Darfur region has been taken into the western Sudan region, before the Sudanese authorities secure his release.

(ST)