13 August 2018

Sudan: President Al Bashir - 'Cut Off Limbs and Necks of Those Who Refuse to Surrender Illegal Arms'

Khartoum — President Omar Al Bashir has ordered Sudan's judges to "apply the law and cut off limbs and necks of anyone who refuses to hand over his illegal weapon, in the public arena and in the market".

Speaking at the end of the National Congress Party consultation conference in Khartoum on Saturday, Al Bashir, who accepted nomination from the council for a third term as president, said illegal weapons have caused killings and cases of tribal conflicts over land or livestock.

He said that 81 youths had been killed in a dispute over 150 sheep in East Darfur.

He said that the weapons are still hidden and that the door remains open to those who want to hand over their weapons, however Al Bashir threatened to hand over those refusing to hand over their weapons to the court.

Al Bashir also renewed his call to "the armed movements that reject peace to engage in the peace process rather than staying in capitals of foreign countries".

He pledged to complete peace in the states of Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Arms collection

Last year in July, the Sudanese government announced a large disarmament campaign in the country, to begin with in Darfur and Kordofan.

Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan's main government militia, and the army were tasked to collect illegal arms and unlicensed vehicles from civilians. In North Darfur alone, more than 12,500 RSF troops were deployed for this purpose.

The phase of the voluntary handover of weapons ended and compulsory collection began in end October. By then, about 30,000 weapons had been collected, out of an estimated 700,000 illegal weapons circulating in Darfur.

Moreover, sources told Radio Dabanga in January this year that a number of militiamen in the region refused to return the weapons and Land Cruisers provided to them to carry out the disarmament campaign.They said that hundreds of militiamen took the vehicles to Libya and Chad, towards Niger. Others went southward.

In early May, Sudan's Second Vice-President, Hasabo Abdelrahman, announced the re-enforcemnt of the disarmament campaign in Darfur.

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