Militiamen steal cars, rob citizens in South Darfur capital

NYALA (27 May.) - Elements of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) stole a number of vehicles and robbed residents of Nyala, capital of South Darfur, on Tuesday. Seventeen cases have so far been reported to the local police.

An eyewitness told Radio Dabanga that the government RSF in about 20 vehicles closed the roads connecting the city to the Nyala airport, and to El Fasher in North Darfur. He witnessed the militia stealing at least five vehicles, and looting mobile phones and money from passers-by.

Nyala resident Abu Ahmed Ali explained how the RSF operated. “Militia elements stopped me in my Toyota at 12 am. They pulled me out. Behind me, I saw one of the elements fire his weapon into a car. Then, he opened the door and pulled the driver out, who was bleeding from his head.”

Ahmed Ali reported that the Sudan Armed Forces intervened and forced the government RSF to withdraw. During their withdrawal, elements fired dense shots in the air, causing panic among citizens and passers-by.

When Ahmed Ali went to the Nyala police station to report the looting, he found a dozen of people gathered around the building. They all came to report the stealing of their cars, money, and properties. “A total of seventeen cases have been reported until now,” he said.

He added that this militia prevented the Deputy Governor of South Darfur, Mahdi Bush, to pass through the checkpoint which was set up along the Nyala airport road, and forced Bush to return.

The violent looting comes one day after troops of the RSF, belonging to Sudan’s national security apparatus (NISS), temporarily blocked the same airport road on Sunday. They were angry because of the delay in the payment of their salaries.