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South Darfur to launch new disarmament campaign

Sudanese soldiers collect weapons voluntarily surrendered by residents in South Darfur State, Sudan, on Sept. 23, 2017 (Xinhua photo)
March 19, 2019 (NYALA) - Governor of South Darfur State Ahmed Abu Shanab on Tuesday has announced the launch of a new disarmament campaign during a few days.

On Tuesday, Abu Shanab met with the political forces and former armed movements in Nyala, capital of South Darfur.

During the meeting, the governor said the disarmament campaign aims at searching for illegal weapons at markets and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

He asked the former rebel movements and political parties to support his government to ensure the success of the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees.

The government repeatedly accuses armed groups of using the IDPs camps as hideouts for their fighters.

On 25 August 2008, the government forces killed over forty displaced people who objected a weapons search operation in the Kalma camp.

On 22 February, President Omer al-Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency and dissolved the federal and states governments appointing 18 militaries as governors of the states.

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

The campaign 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 official statements say 30,000 arms have been collected in the five states of Darfur region during the voluntary process which started in August, while official figures estimate at 700,000 the number of illegal weapons in Darfur.

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.

(ST)