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Sudan: Mixed opinions in South Darfur over call to arm civilians

Sudanese fighters   -  
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Many Sudanese now fear "all-out civil war", according to the Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC), the civilian bloc ousted from power in the 2021 putsch led by the two generals, then allies and now at war. Calls to arm civilians are multiplying.

In Darfur, already ravaged by a deadly war in the 2000s, local militias, tribal fighters and armed civilians have joined the fighting. Governor Minni Minnawi, a former rebel leader now close to the army, called on the population on Sunday to take up arms "to protect their property".

"We need to arm ourselves, because everyone is in danger", pleaded Aboubaker Ismaïl, a local resident, referring to attacks on residents in their homes, or looting.

But, retorts Mohammed Hassan, a resident of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, calling on civilians to arm themselves is "totally irresponsible: it's a very dangerous call that could lead to civil war".

Chad, South Sudan and Ethiopia, neighboring states themselves plagued by violence, fear contagion and are calling for aid from the UN, which in return is repeating that it has received only a tiny fraction of its donors' funds.

And in a few days' time, the rainy season will begin, bringing with it the fear of malaria and cholera epidemics.

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