El Radoom — The Sudanese police have seized substantial quantities of cannabis and hashish, and destroyed about 500 cannabis farms during a month-long campaign in El Radoom area of South Darfur.
Police Colonel Ahmed Adam told reporters that the arrival of his forces, consisting of 366 personnel and 29 vehicles equipped with a helicopter and unmanned aircraft, coincided with the cannabis harvest season.
Col. Adam said that his men have faced harsh natural conditions, but destroyed about 500 farms and seized more than 30,000 cannabis packages. He said his forces were ambushed by an armed group which they managed to destroy, while two of his troops were wounded. They then seized 54,000 pieces of hashish.
Sudan's Interior Minister, Hamid Manan, has announced the government's intention to conclude agreements with South Sudan and Central African Republic to deal with drugs cartels operating on the border of these countries in the cultivation and trafficking of drugs.
During a speech in Khartoum, on Tuesdaym the Minister asked the police force that has completed its mission in El Radoom to think of other ways to eliminate drugs in Sudan. The Minister said that "El Radoom area should be targeted with development and change of the lifestyle of its residents, who are exploited by traders in the cultivation of drugs."
He confirmed that the trafficking and cultivation of drugs has developed to an organised crime network.
The cultivation area for cannabis in El Radoom represent at least 30,000 square kilometres. Most of the cannabis in Sudan is cultivated in this locality, said the General Office for Combating Drugs in Khartoum in July 2016.
Sudan is the largest producer of cannabis in Africa, according to the office. The drug trade in Sudan exceeded $7 billion between 2015 and 2016, while the use of cannabis grew by 34 per cent.