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Sudan to launch disarmament campaign in Darfur before the end of 2017

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July 23, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - Sudanese Vice President Hasabo Abel Rahman Sunday announced that his government would launch a campaign to collect weapons in Darfur and reorganise the government militias before the end of the year.

Sudanese vice-president Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman (Photo SUNA)

In April last year, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir the formation of a national body, Darfur Disarmament Higher Committee, tasked with the collection of illegal arms in the region, adding the campaign will be voluntary in a first phase and then become compulsory.

Speaking in a Sufi conference held in El-Fasher the capital of North Darfur state, the Sudanese official renewed calls for the holdout armed groups to join the peace process. He also called for reconciliation among the different tribes and ethnic groups in the region.

He further announced that the government would start to implement its plans to collect weapons from civilians unauthorised groups to and called on the religious leaders incite the population to hand over their arms and to contribute to the efforts to stabilise the region.

"We must leave weapons only for certain purposes," said the vice president and stressed that this plan is a "strategic project" for peace in Darfur.

The disarmament of armed groups and tribesmen is seen as an important step that will create a suitable atmosphere for security and stability in the troubled region.

But the failure to achieve a comprehensive peace delayed its implementation. Also, the tribal conflicts over land ownership and pastures is a second obstacle for the weapon collection.

The defence minister announced this week they plan to restructure the government militias pointing it is an important step before the disarmament campaign.

Abdel Rahman called on Darfurians to reject tribalism and described it as a disease preventing national cohesion.

Also, he called on the Sufi religious leaders to spread a message of tolerance and compassion among the population and to denounce conflicts and extremism.

He added that the Sudanese religious approach is moderate and called for strengthening religious moderation.

"We do not believe in Shiites or Daesh. There is no compulsion in religion and moderation is our style and culture," he said.

(ST)

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