Sunday October 01, 2023

Governor of war-torn Sudan’s Darfur region issues call to arms

May 29, 2023

KHARTOUM: The governor of war-torn Sudan´s western Darfur region, Mini Minawi, on Sunday called on citizens there to “take up arms”, six weeks into the brutal conflict. Much of the heaviest fighting has raged in the capital Khartoum and in Darfur, near the border with Chad, since the conflict erupted on April 15.

Minawi, a former rebel leader, has voiced support for the national army in its battle against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. “There are many who do not wish for the safety or rights of citizens and deliberately sabotage national institutions,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I call on all our honourable citizens, the people of Darfur, old and young, men and women, to take up arms to protect their property.” Darfur has already suffered decades of turmoil that has left hundreds of thousands dead, more than two million displaced and the region flooded with weapons.

The war there, which began in 2003, saw Sudan´s then president Omar al-Bashir unleash the feared Janjaweed militia to crush a rebellion among ethnic minority groups. The Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo and now at war with the Sudanese army, traces its origins to the Janjaweed. Darfur has seen some of the worst of current fighting, with hundreds of civilians killed, markets burned and rampant looting of health and aid facilities.