16 August 2018

Sudan: Three Held for Carrying Arms in South Darfur

Gireida — The security authorities have arrested three displaced people in Gireida locality in South Darfur on charges of possessing arms and ammunition.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that members of the security services arrested El Rayh Ahmed Mohamed, El Dai Mohamed Adam, and Ahmed Yagoub Omar while they were on their way back from farming on Saturday.

They said the three defendants were brought to trial on Tuesday while the hearing was adjourned to next week. The defendants face charges of illegal possession and use of arms and ammunition under the criminal law.

Arms collection

Last week 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.

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 to 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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