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Forcible phase of disarmament campaign begins in West Darfur

Photo taken on Sept. 23, 2017 shows weapons voluntarily surrendered by residents in South Darfur State, Sudan. (Xinhua Photo)
July 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A joint government force has captured large quantities of weapons, ammunition, military uniforms and unregulated vehicles in the village of Warah, Sraya locality, West Darfur State at the start of the forcible phase of the disarmament campaign.

Acting governor of West Darfur Mohamed Ibrahim Sharf al-Din said the higher committee for the collection of illicit arms has given residents and armed groups sufficient time to hand over their weapons voluntarily.

He said, however, some people refused to give up their weapons leaving the government no choice but to disarm them forcibly.

In August 2017, the Sudanese authorities launched a campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan.

The campaign, which would be implemented across the country, began by disarming tribes and civilians in Kordofan and Darfur.

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.

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