Mershing — The authorities in Mershing in South Darfur have decided to prohibit traffic between Nyala and El Fasher in the evening, following a series of robberies on the road.
The director of Mershing locality, Salaheldin Ismail, issued an emergency order yesterday banning traffic on the road linking the state capitals of South and North Darfur between 18:00 and 05:00. The measure will be effective from Saturday onward.
Violations of the ban will be punished with a fine of SDG10,000 or imprisonment for one month, or both.
Last week, a policeman was injured when he and his colleagues were persecuting a group of armed robbers on the road.
Though the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has been criticised of not being able to protect the people in Darfur, many lament the final decision of the UN Security Council last year to withdraw the peacekeepers, and have warned for a new surge of violence after the exit, that was officially set on December 31, 2020.
In May last year, a group of Sudanese civil society activists urged PM Abdallah Hamdok in a petition to add 'physical protection' to his request for a new UN force to be deployed in the country, after the exit of UNAMID.
"It's not the time to replace missions," they stated. "Rather you must ask the international community to empower the existing UNAMID with a stronger mandate and additional means and logistics to carry on its duties.
In December, Amnesty International called on the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of the joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur by at least six months "in light of failure by government security forces to protect civilians in recent months".
Following mass attacks by Arab tribesmen on El Geneina, capital of West Darfur in January, government troops were deployed to contain the situation. The town was attacked again in early April.
The victims accuse the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and "joint Third Front Forces" of joining the violence, and demand their "immediate withdrawal" from the region.