DSS Raises Alarm Over Plot To Incite Religious Violence, Attack Worship Centres

In this photo taken on December 6, 2019, two DSS operatives are having a conversation during an operation in Abuja.

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has raised an alarm about an alleged plot to incite religious violence across the country.

In a statement on Monday, the DSS Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, disclosed that the plot was being sponsored by some persons in collaboration with external forces.

Afunanya said they intend to incite religious violence in states such as Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, and Lagos, as well as those in the South East.

“Part of the plans is to cause inter-religious conflicts, as well as use their foot soldiers to attack some worship centres, religious leaders, personalities, as well as key and vulnerable points.

“Consequently, Nigerians are advised to be wary of these antics and shun all divisive tendencies aimed at inciting or setting them against one another,” the statement said.

The DSS spokesman gave an assurance that the Service would collaborate with other security agencies to ensure that public order was maintained in all parts of the country.

He also warned those hatching such evil plots to desist from them in the interest of peace, security, and development of the nation.

“Law-abiding citizens (and residents) are encouraged to report suspected breaches of peace around them to the nearest security agencies,” he said.

Buhari Seeks Int’l Community Support To End Violence Against Women

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the international community to support the Human Rights Council in ending violence against women and girls in the country.

Buhari’s call was contained in a statement issued by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday to mark the November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

“I urge the international community to support the mandate and operations of the Human Rights Council in its quest to strengthen institutions in relation to gender equality and empowerment, as well as the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls,” President Buhari said.

“We have developed additional strategies to improve the quality of life for women and girls, redoubling our efforts to improve access to productive resources for women and girls as well as continue to ensure the protection of fundamental rights.

“We are very mindful of the necessity to empower women and girls for the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the African Union Agenda 2063; as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ELIMINATING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: NIGERIA’S RESPONSE AND COMMITMENTS TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN THE COVID-19 CONTEXT – BY PRESIDENT BUHARI

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and from tomorrow, the United Nations “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence” will begin and end on December 10, 2020.

READ ALSO: Libya’s Instability Affects All Of Us In Sahel Region – Buhari

To commemorate the occasion below is President Muhammadu Buhari’s goodwill message highlighting measures that governments at various levels are putting in place to curb sexual and gender-based violence which has increased due to the lockdown measures introduced to check the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

November 24, 2020.

Protocol: …

Background: The subject of Sexual and Gender-Based violence in all its forms has been recurrent especially considering the alarming statistics of violence against vulnerable persons recorded in Nigeria, particularly women and girls. I am indeed aware of the unfortunate situation from records and reports of incidences in the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic and attendant responses by our government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly lock-down measures similarly adopted by other countries worldwide, further exacerbated the already dire situation of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria. Nigeria has long been facing a gender-based violence crisis, with 30% of women and girls aged 15-49 have experienced sexual abuse.

The International Day of Eliminating Violence against Women, therefore, presents a unique opportunity to highlight actions taken by the government to address violence against women and girls.

To address these developments, governments at the Federal and State levels have made the following responses:

  1. Establishment of a National Tool for Gender-based Violence Data Management

Our Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative and other critical stakeholders developed the National Tool for Gender-based Violence Data Management in Nigeria. The tool is expected to serve as a consolidated database to record and assess the occurrence of GBV during the COVID-19 period and beyond; it is also to document all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria using a single, harmonised data collection tool. Over time, the tool will undergo revisions to accommodate wider reporting indices beyond the COVID-19 period.

  1.        Committee on the eradication of sexual, gender-based violence

On 23 July 2020, we inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee on the eradication of sexual and gender-based violence in response to worsening cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the country arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures that were imposed to curb the spread of the virus. As part of its mandate, the Committee is expected to conduct a review of all the existing laws and policy instruments touching on offences of rape, child defilement, and gender-based violence and develop for adoption, national prevention of sexual abuse/violence strategy for the period of 2021- 2025, “that identifies and encapsulates measures to enhance response to rape and gender-based violence, set new targets for prevention, intervention, and treatment.”

  1. Development of Gender-Based Policy Guidelines in Emergency Response

Clear indications were made of an absence of gender-focused responses during emergencies such as the COVID-19. This gap has been addressed through the development of Policy Guidelines for Emergency Response, facilitated under the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative by the UN Women and Implementing Partners in the Spotlight States particularly the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sokoto and Ebonyi States. These policies when implemented, ensure that vulnerable persons, particularly women and children are not left behind in emergencies such as COVID-19.

  1. Improving the economic status of women

To mitigate the socio-economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, in the provision of medical and social assistance. Our administration remains committed to eradicating poverty and enhancing growth and development for women and girls. In the last year, over one million Nigerians have been enrolled in the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable households to enable them to access needed social assistance. Under the National Social Investment Programme, we have commenced cash transfers and distribution of food items to individuals and families across all States in Nigeria as palliatives to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our administration remains committed to eradicating poverty and enhancing growth and development for women and girls. In order to address gender-based poverty, we have initiated programmes such as: Tradermoni, Marketmoni and Farmersmoni under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.

  1. Fundamental Human Rights and Freedom

Our administration believes that the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms are critical to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. It is for this reason that I urge the international community to support the mandate and operations of the Human Rights Council in its quest to strengthen institutions in relation to gender equality and empowerment, as well as the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls. We have developed additional strategies to improve the quality of life for women and girls, redoubling our efforts to improve access to productive resources for women and girls as well as continue to ensure the protection of fundamental rights. We are very mindful of the necessity to empower women and girls for the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the African Union Agenda 2063; as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action.

I wish you successful commemoration and Days of Activism.

#EndSARS: Senate Urges FG To Give 1% VAT To States Affected By Violence

A file photo of cars burnt by hoodlums during the violence in Lagos on October 21, 2020.

 

The Nigerian Senate has called on the Federal Government to allocate one percent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to states affected by violence and looting during and after the #EndSARS protest that held across the nation in October.

The lawmakers are adopting this resolution after considering two motions moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey.

The lawmakers noted that private and public assets destroyed by hoodlums in Lagos State were estimated to be in the range of over N1 trillion by the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Senate Urges FG To Give 1% VAT To States Affected By Violence

They said a Television station, BRT buses, and about 25 police stations were burnt in the state.

Mr Bassey in his submission decried the looting of warehouses in Calabar and the attack on the residence of some serving and past federal lawmakers, WAEC office, among others.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: British Parliament To Debate Petition Against Nigeria 

“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over years,” Bassey told the House.

Senator Sani Musa in his contribution said, “ENDSARS came as a peaceful protest but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate.

“The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility.”

The Senate in response also asked the Federal Government to set up a visitation panel to the various states destroyed by hoodlums across Nigeria for evaluation.

They also directed the committees on National Security, Defence, and Police to investigate the attacks by the hoodlums and how to prevent a recurrence.

Recent Violence Has Set Lagos Economy Back By Tens Of Billions Of Naira – Sanwo-Olu

A file photo of Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is concerned about the impact of the destruction of government and private properties on the people and the state’s economy.

In his remarks at the Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos held on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that the October violence has led to the loss of billions of naira.

“The violence has no doubt set our economy back by tens of billions of Naira and impacted our confidence,” he told the meeting.

The governor added, “Beyond the physical and economic impact, there has also been the psychological damage; the fear, the terror, the helplessness that all of the victims have felt, the questions about how or where do we start from?”

According to him, the violence is the most widespread carnage Lagos has seen in decades and the level of destruction was worrisome.

“Every aspect of life and livelihood in Lagos was affected – government buildings offices, public monuments, and historical archives, public infrastructure like our BRT buses, and, very sadly too, private property and investments – malls, shops, small businesses, residences and many more,” Governor Sanwo-Olu told the forum.

He, however, noted that the state has found hope and great strength in the offers of assistance from various individuals and groups, which culminated in the constitution of the Lagos Rebuild Committee to coordinate the government’s efforts to rebuild and upgrade the state.

The governor stressed that following the violence, the state would bounce back and emerge stronger.

He said, “Here is a city that emerged from the most unpromising beginnings, out of the gloom of a sprawling lagoon and malarial swamps.

“By dint of hard work, entrepreneurial energy, and creative excellence, everything we see and hold dear today was built, over the centuries. In that time there have been setbacks and challenges of various kinds.”

“The most prominent ones include the Royal Navy bombardment of 1851, the Influenza epidemic of 1918, the Bubonic Plague of the 1920s, even the loss of Federal Capital status that many assumed would severely downgrade the state.

“Most recently, we also faced and defeated Ebola in 2014, and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 – in both cases, Lagos was the Nigerian epicentre,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.

Those at the event include the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, among others.

Violence: We Suffered Extensive Damage Of Our LG Offices, Facilities – INEC

Reps Challenge INEC On Inconclusive Elections, As Senators Reject Move To Debate Issue
A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, at a briefing in Abuja. Photo: ChannelsTV/ Sodiq Adelaqun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suffered extensive damage after some of its local government offices and facilities were vandalised during the violence recorded in parts of the country.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He confirmed that the vandalisation of properties also affected areas where pending bye-elections were scheduled to hold.

Okoye explained that the electoral body held a meeting on Thursday where it further reviewed the situation.

Following the destruction of properties, he said the commission noted the importance of consulting all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.

“Consequently, the Commission will consult with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and then with the media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020.

“The Commission will thereafter meet again with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020 to decide on a date for the conduct of the bye-elections,” the statement said.

The INEC spokesperson appealed to all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to conduct credible elections in a safe and conducive environment.

He stated that Thursday’s meeting followed an engagement with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on October 22, to deliberate on the 15 outstanding bye-elections in 11 states of the Federation earlier scheduled for October 31.

Some of the areas where bye-elections would be conducted include Bayelsa Central senatorial district, Bayelsa West senatorial district, Nganzai State Constituency in Borno, Bayo State Constituency in Borno, and Cross River North senatorial district.

The poll would also hold in Obudu State Constituency in Cross River, Imo North senatorial district, Lagos East senatorial district, Kosofe II State Constituency in Lagos, Plateau South senatorial district, Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara, and Ibaji State Constituency in Kogi, among others.

Violence: IGP Sets Up Committee To Assess Losses Suffered By Police

File photo of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has inaugurated a committee to assess the losses suffered by the Nigeria Police Force.

Adama, according to a statement issued on Friday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the inauguration followed the recent EndSARS protests across the country.

He observed that the “Force encountered huge losses in terms of human and material resources during the ENDSARS protests which commenced on a rather peaceful note but unfortunately degenerated into violence, loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.”

While asking Chairman of the Assessment Committee, CP Abutu Yaro, to see the assignment as a call to service, the IGP charged him to be diligent in executing the task.

“The Committee, which has CP Abutu Yaro as Chairman, was charged by the IGP to see the assignment as a call to service which must be undertaken with purposefulness, empathy, dedication and sacrifice.

“The terms of reference of the Committee include: that the delegation should physically visit the scenes of incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verify the fatalities suffered by the police; establish the weapons holdings that were lost during the incidents, amongst others.

“The IGP particularly emphasized that the delegates should visit families of deceased police officers and the injured on behalf of the Force,” the statement added.

Read The Full Statement Issued By The Police Spokesman Below:

AFTERMATH OF ENDSARS PROTESTS: IGP INAUGURATES 9-MAN COMMITTEE TO ASSESS LOSSES SUFFERED BY THE FORCE

PRESS RELEASE

AFTERMATH OF ENDSARS PROTESTS: IGP INAUGURATES 9-MAN COMMITTEE TO ASSESS LOSSES SUFFERED BY THE FORCE

  • Appreciates Sacrifices by Police personnel, delegates to visit families of deceased and injured officers

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has inaugurated a 9-Man Committee for the assessment of losses suffered by the Nigeria Police Force during the ENDSARS Protests across the country. The IGP, during the inauguration program which held at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, today, Friday, 30th October, 2020, noted that the setting up of the Assessment Committee is informed by the need to properly document the losses suffered by the Force for the purposes of strategic planning, re-construction and re-equipment as well as for future reference. He observed that the Force encountered huge losses in terms of human and material resources during the ENDSARS protests which commenced on a rather peaceful note but unfortunately degenerated into violence, loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.

The Committee, which has CP Abutu Yaro as Chairman, was charged by the IGP to see the assignment as a call to service which must be undertaken with purposefulness, empathy, dedication and sacrifice. The terms of reference of the Committee include: that the delegation should physically visit the scenes of incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verify the fatalities suffered by the police; establish the weapons holdings that were lost during the incidents, amongst others. The IGP particularly emphasized that the delegates should visit families of deceased police officers and the injured on behalf of the Force.

The IGP, while appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, GCON and Government at all levels for their support and commitment to the holistic reforms of the Force, reassured the families of the deceased police officers and the injured their losses and sacrifices would continually be remembered by the Force and the nation. The IGP also appreciated the professional conduct and restraints by Police personnel during the period, even in the face of imminent threats to their lives.

DCP FRANK MBA

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FORCE HEADQUARTERS

ABUJA

Ita-Giwa Goes On Knees, Begs Youths To Stop Destroying Properties In Calabar

Ita-Giwa

 

Former Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa went on her knees to beg youths to stop the incessant looting of properties in Calabar.

She made the appeal on Saturday in Calabar, admitting that the leaders have failed the youths.

According to the ex-lawmaker, the vandalization and havoc has affected not only the rich but the poor and middle class in the society as both little businesses and jobs have been affected.

“Please my children, we are not oblivious of the fact that we have failed and wrong you, your country Nigeria has failed you, the elders have failed you but please stop the violence,” she said.

Earlier, the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade imposed a 24-hour curfew to curtail the recent violence that has hit some parts of the state.

According to a statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, the curfew takes immediate effect.

The development, he noted, followed the hijacking of the peaceful protest against police brutality in the state by hoodlums.

While advising residents of the state to observe the curfew, Ita warned that security agents have been mandated to arrest anybody who flouts it.

#EndSARS: UK Urges Nigerian Govt To Urgently Investigate Brutality

 

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday that he was “deeply concerned” by the recent violence in Nigeria and reports of civilian deaths, and called for “an end to the violence”.

“The Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces and hold those responsible to account,” he said in a statement.

Soldiers had opened fire on a crowd of over 1,000 protesters in the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State on Tuesday evening, sparking international outrage.

The gunfire came as they tried to disperse demonstrators after a curfew was imposed to end spiralling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.

Amnesty International has accused the army and police of killing at least 12 people in two Lagos locations during the deadly crackdown.

Read Also: UN Condemns Shooting Of Lekki Protesters, Calls For End To Police Brutality In Nigeria

Buildings were torched on Wednesday as sporadic new clashes erupted following the incidents.

The shooting drew widespread international condemnation, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying reports suggested it could have been premeditated.

Edo Residents Hopeful Of Violence-Free Governorship Election

Residents of Edo State are hopeful of a violence-free election come Saturday, September 19, 2020. Photos Sodiq Adelakun

 

The residents of Edo State are hopeful of a violence-free election as they go to the poll to elect a governor for another four-year term.

Following the chains of violence recorded in parts of the state during the electioneering campaign period, the electorates insist that the exercise scheduled for September 19 would be peaceful.

Channels Television crew interviewed some of the residents during a tour of Benin City, the state capital on Friday – the eve of the Election Day.

They said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as well as the security agencies have assured them of adequate security and a peaceful exercise.

“Everywhere is secured; people are only giving the impression that the election will not take place, but the government has made all preparations intact.

“So, I don’t know why people will not come out to vote,” a resident, Rufus Arubiye, told Channels Television.

Another resident, Mrs Victoria Momojumo, believes adequate preparations have been put in place by the relevant authorities.

“Tomorrow, I am going to vote and I will vote for the right person I want,” said Victoria whose opinion was supported by Stanley Nduka who believes there will be calm and the election will be peaceful.

“I believe everything will be fine; I am going to vote but I won’t sell my conscience. We want a leader, not a ruler,” another resident, Juliet Osas, stated.

Although the atmosphere in Edo is relatively peaceful, residents flooded the streets in some parts of the state in what can be described as last-minute shopping before they go to the poll.

During a visit to some of the major markets in Benin City, many residents were seen stocking foodstuff while others bought non-food items.

 

 

Shops and food markets were fully opened for commercial activities as early as 8:30 am at the Second Circular Road and Upper Mission Road areas of the state capital.

 

 

While some anticipated the election day as they were unable to contain their excitement, signs of fear and worry were evident on the faces of others.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed September 19 to conduct the election in all the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.

At a press briefing in Abuja on February 6, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, noted that the tenure of the present administration in Edo would end on November 12, 2020.

According to him, the Electoral Act provides that the election cannot be conducted earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the tenure of an incumbent governor.

Five months later, the electoral umpire cleared the 12 candidates from various political parties to vie for the office of the governor.

Edo Election: FG Must Prevent Violence, Uphold Human Rights – Amnesty Int’l

Accountability For Human Rights Violations Remains Elusive, Says Amnesty
A photo showing the logo of Amnesty International.

 

Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Amnesty International has asked the Federal Government to prevent violence and uphold human rights.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the group’s Country Director, Osai Ojigho, said the move is necessary over what it describes as disturbing signs of violence, a month to the exercise.

Amnesty International said it has received “disturbing reports of violence by the political class and the unfortunate use of young people to perpetuate these reprehensible acts.”

“Government must protect people from violence and ensure the full respect for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association before, during and after the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election and subsequent elections in other states of the federation,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Government Condemns Mali Coup

Ojigho also called on political parties and their candidates to “publicly condemn any advocacy of hatred or incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

“The authorities must put measures in place to ensure politicians and their supporters do not infringe on human rights. They must announce clearly that there is zero-tolerance for human rights violations and that anyone suspected of wrongdoing will be brought to justice,” Ojigho said.

“The authorities must also ensure that journalists, international and national civil society groups and agencies that will monitor the elections are able to do so in safety.”

“Fueling the instability and impunity in the state, are reports of supporters of some politicians violently targeting political opponents, real or perceived.

“The authorities must stamp out any potential impunity by ensuring these incidents are investigated and those suspected to be responsible, brought to justice.”

El-Rufai Blames Religious Leaders For Southern Kaduna Killings

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a meeting with religious leaders over the Southern Kaduna killings on August 13, 2020.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has blamed some religious leaders in the state for the Southern Kaduna killings.

Speaking during a meeting with the Primate of Anglican Communion, Henry Ndukuba, and the Secretary of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria, the governor lamented that religion, rather than being used to unite the people, has become a divisive tool for selfish interests.

“This state is going through challenging times which people are using religion to divide instead of using religion to unite.

“You visit here in an indication of your recognition in the positive role that religion can play to unite our people. This has become the overriding objective of this state government.

READ ALSO: Gas Explosion Kills One, Injures Three In Imo State

“The Primate is aware of the history of violence and religious intolerance in this state. Our study of the situation over 40 decades has shown that the main drivers of this violence are a few clerics that use their platform not to preach peaceful co-existence but use their revered position to divide and incite violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.

The Special Forces were drawn from the Nigerian Army.

They were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.

Addressing the troops, the Commissioner charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to Southern Kaduna.

UN Condemns Violence In North Darfur

In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

The joint United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) condemned Tuesday “violent incidents” in North Darfur state which left nine dead and 20 wounded.

“UNAMID is deeply concerned about the violent incidents that erupted in Kutum town on 12 July and the attack by unidentified armed men on the Fata Borno IDP (internally displaced people) camp on the morning of 13 July 2020 which left 9 IDPs dead and 20 injured,” the peacekeeping mission said in a statement.

“It is regrettable that these incidents have taken place while the transitional government of Sudan and the armed movements are close to concluding negotiations expected to bring peace and stability… to the Darfur region and the whole of Sudan,” it added.

Darfur has long been plagued by poor security and armed groups.

North Darfur (Shamal Darfur is the largest of the five states that make up Sudan’s Darfur region

 

 

In 2003, a deadly ethnic conflict broke out in Darfur between African minority rebels and forces backed by the government of ex-president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in April 2019.

Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The United Nations says the conflict killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million.

Sudan’s current transitional government, comprised of military and civilian figures led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok since last year, has engaged in talks with three key rebel groups to reach a peace deal to end the wars in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

A signing ceremony with various rebel factions slated for Tuesday was delayed once again.

In the wake of the recent unrest, North Darfur’s governor announced a state of emergency on Monday.

AFP