South Sudan: HUDO - Rebels 'Collect Taxes' in South Kordofan

Abu Jubeiha — Members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) confiscated a vehicle from a farmer in the area of Gedied in Abu Jubeiha in South Kordofan last week.

The Sudanese human rights centre HUDO reported on Thursday that the vehicle of farmer Mohamed Ahmed Fazari (55) was confiscated because he failed to pay taxes imposed on people living in the area by the South Sudanese SPLM-DC faction under the leadership of Lam Makol.

On November 19, Fazari was driving his Bedford lorry in the area of Gedied when members of the SPLM-DC riding in a vehicle mounted with machineguns obstructed him. They were dressed in operation uniforms of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), HUDO said.

The rebel fighters confiscated his lorry, saying he had not paid the taxes they imposed on gum Arabic collectors.

The next day, Fazari went to Abu Jubeiha town where he reported the incident to the police. Yet the police refused to record the complaint, and referred him to the Abu Jubeiha military garrison.

At the garrison, army officers informed him that the military has no authority over the South Sudanese rebel group and that they "are solely governed by central orders".

HUDO expressed its serious concern about the safety of people and their property in conflict areas and calls upon the authorities "at state and central level to urgently investigate the case, bring Fazary's lorry back, and compensate him". The authorities should also prosecute the perpetrators and address the police's failure to respond according to the law.

Abu Jubeiha

The centre further urges the Sudanese government "to stop hosting South Sudanese rebels on Sudan's territory".

For more than four years, the regime of deposed Omar Al Bashir, has been hosting South Sudanese armed opposition groups in various areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state. Abu Jubeiha locality is one of those areas, HUDO explains.

The camps of the Shilluk combatants of the SPLM-DC are located in eastern and south-eastern parts of Abu Jubeiha, where gum arabic is collected.

"Nothing changed since the former president was ousted in April 2019," HUDO states. "The DC troops, dressed in NISS operation uniforms, are moving freely in the area."

They impose taxes on gum collectors during the current harvest season. The fees are imposed basing on the means of transport used: SDG 50,000 (approx. $ 700 according to HUDO) for a lorry or tractor, SDG 25,000 (approx. $ 350) for a camel, and SDG 10,000 (approx. 150 USD) for a donkey.

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