Sudan: Governor - 'Smuggling Widespread in West Darfur'

Khartoum — West Darfur wali (governor) Mohamed El Doma said at a press conference yesterday that arms trade, drug trafficking and commodity smuggling are widespread in his state, "both in the cities and in the camps for displaced people".

El Doma acknowledged West Darfur is not able to control the smuggling due to the lack of sufficient forces. He stated that there is massive proliferation of all kinds of light and heavy weapons in his state, "enough to arm an entire army". He announced that West Darfur will start collecting weapons and other forbidden equipment soon.

Wali El Doma stated that there are 17,000 unregulated vehicles and motorcycles in West Darfur. The widespread use of these unregulated and unlicensed vehicles in his state (popularly called Boko Haram) attribute to money laundering and drug trafficking, he said.

The wali also said that security forces have arrested those accused of killing a university student and recovered a vehicle that was stolen from the market.

During the press conference he also confirmed that four farmers had been killed during the current agricultural season and that 200 armoured vehicles have been deployed to protect the camps of the displaced people following these deaths. The deployment of these vehicles has led to a decrease in the rate of violence and secured the agricultural season, the wali said.

He denied that there was a lack of security in the state. Three weeks ago, he officially declared the administrative unit of Misterei in Beida locality a disaster area, because of the rampant insecurity in the area.

Wali El Doma used to be the chairman of the Darfur Bar Association before he became governor.

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