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Sudan Tribune

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Darfur governor urges civilians to take up arms amidst escalating violence


Mini Minnawi talks to the press last in Khartoum in February 2021

May 28, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of Darfur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), has called on citizens to defend their property against looting and theft following the outbreak of armed conflict between the government army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

In a tweet from El-Fasher, Governor Minnawi highlighted the increasing attacks on civilians and the sabotage of national institutions since the start of the fighting in Darfur.

He urged the people of Darfur to take up arms to protect their property, emphasizing that the struggle movements would support them in legitimate acts of self-defence.

Responding to the varied reactions to his call, Minnawi issued a statement clarifying that it was a response to the deteriorating security situation and widespread looting and theft, including from homes, shops, government institutions, and humanitarian organizations.

He expressed his commitment to neutrality and called for an immediate cessation of the war, urging direct dialogue for a comprehensive political solution.

Darfur armed groups formed a joint force to protect civilians earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the SLA’s military spokesman, Ahmed Hussein Mustafa, stated that Minnawi had engaged with the army, RSF, and security services to coordinate efforts in maintaining security and ensuring the safety of all Darfur states.

Mustafa appealed to all parties to assist in resolving the activities of outlawed groups while emphasizing the need for regional government collaboration and citizen involvement in safeguarding lives and property.

The Sudanese army and the paramilitary forces clashed in Darfur states following the beginning of the fighting in Khartoum on April 15.

Also, over 500 people were killed in West Darfur as a result of the tribal fighting that erupted simultaneously with the clashes in Khartoum.