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Sudan says weapons collection operations will reach rebel areas in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

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December 20, 2017 (ZALINGEI) - Central Darfur Governor Ga’afar Abdel-Hakam announced that the weapons collection campaign will reach within days Jebel Marra’s areas controlled by the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW).

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Central Darfur governor, Jaafar Abdel Hakam (Photo SUNA)

The governor made his declaration, which means the end of the government unilateral cessation of hostilities, in a speech before the Central Darfur State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

"We are in constant contact with the few remaining elements of Abdel Wahid group, but they do not respond to our repeated calls until the moment."

"If the fourth operation of the weapons collection campaign begins, the search forces will reach their places and then the cessation of hostilities would not protect them because it does not include Darfur," he further said.

In 2016, the government said that its forces defeated the SLM-AW fighters but admitted the existence of some rebel pockets in the mountainous Jebel Marra area and stopped its military operations particularly the air attacks which affect civilians also.

Since December 2016, the Sudanese authorities have authorised aid groups to reach needy civilians in the troubled state to deliver humanitarian assistance. The end of humanitarian restrictions was implemented within the framework of an agreement with the U.S. administration for the lift of economic sanctions on Sudan.

Also, the SLM-AW refuses to engage in a peace process with the government and didn’t declare a unilateral humanitarian truce as it is the case for the SLM-Minni Minnawi and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Gibril Ibrahim.

Abdel-Hakam called on the Native Administration officials and local leaders to cooperate with the government and inform them about the whereabouts of tribal weapons and other arms in the hands of civilians to make the campaign a success.

"We will arrest anyone who works to incite against the weapons collection campaign and deport him outside the state in accordance with the emergency law without any judicial procedures," he further warned.

The governor, in addition, warned against the negative use of the social media to criticize the ongoing weapons collection operations.

"It is forbidden to speak negatively about the campaign and everyone who posts a negative comment on social networking sites about the campaign will expose himself to accountability and imprisonment in accordance with emergency laws," he emphasized.

(ST)

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