16 August 2017

Sudan: 4x4 Vehicle Collection Impacts Transport in East and West Darfur

Ed Daein / El Geneina — The decision to ban the use of Land Cruisers has negatively affected internal travel and travel from the capital of Ed Daein to the rest of East Darfur, especially as it is the only practical way to move around in the rainy season.

A travel agent told Radio Dabanga that the decision to ban the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles led to a rise in prices of tickets from Ed Daein to Abu Jabra from SDG 80 ($12) to SDG 250 ($37), while the price of a ticket from Ed Daein to Askalays has risen from SDG 70 ($10.50) to SDG 150 ($22.50) as there is a shortage of vehicles.

Searches

Yesterday morning Ed Daein witnessed raids and a large-scale search of homes by government forces in the districts of El Gubba and Muhajer.

The operation coincided with closing of all entrances and exits of Ed Daein.

Residents of El Gubba and Muhajer told Radio Dabanga that the search of several homes was violent and degrading, without regard for the sanctity and safety of the residents.

Residents confirmed the search was thorough but did not produce anything.

West Darfur

Hundreds of owners of Land Cruisers in West Darfur have stopped their vehicles transporting passengers and goods between the towns and villages in protest against the decisions of the authorities to confiscate their vehicles.

Yesterday workers in West Darfur told Radio Dabanga that around 940 Land Cruisers operate in the state between the rest of the four states of Darfur, West Darfur, and their eight localities.

The halt of the vehicles has led to the overcrowding of passengers in El Geneina especially as these four-wheel drive vehicles are the only means of transportation during the rainy season in Darfur where many of the roads have no asphalt.

Militias

On Thursday the Governor of West Darfur, Fadlelmawla El Haja, announced that he will witness the collection of weapons from the supporting forces in the state, including border guards, the Popular Defence Forces, police, and other militias.

The governor announced to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) that today will see the start of collection of weapons from regular, official, and supporting forces from the armed, police and security forces.

He said the weapons collection process from the native administration began on Monday.

He appealed to all parties of West Darfur to support the collection of weapons under way.

A number of Border Guards members in West Darfur have complied with the weapons collection order of the Sudanese government and handed over weapons and vehicles they illegally owned, contrary to Border Guards in North Darfur.

On Saturday, members of the Darfuri Border Guards militia agreed to oppose the disarmament plans of the Sudanese government.

RSF

The field commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (aka Hemetti), confirmed he has drawn-up a plan and arrangements for the collection of weapons from his forces.

He pointed out that the process of collecting weapons will be from all components of Darfur and the hands of anyone carrying a weapon.

On Tuesday he told Sudan News Agency the importance of collecting arms from Darfur and from all Sudan within the framework of extending the prestige of the state and the rule of law, especially that the collection of weapons is a presidential decree that must be implemented.

He stressed that the RSF are ready to collect weapons and apply that to the rest of the other regular forces.

He stressed that any member of his forces on a leave or permission of absence or should hand-over their weapon to the quartermaster until the end of the leave or permission period.

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