Sudan’s Bashir reiterates pledges to develop Darfur region

Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir welcomed by the crowed at his arrival to a public meeting in El Geneina on 19 Sept 2017

September 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – In a speech delivered in South Darfur state, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Thursday reiterated his pledges to implement development and services projects in the region which has suffered from war since 2003.

To show that his government has restored its authority in the western Sudan region, al-Bashir’s tour takes place weeks before a U.S. decision on the permanent lift of sanctions on the country.

Speaking to the crowd in Gereida which hosts a big IDPs camp in South Darfur, al-Bashir recalled his electoral pledges and said that his government is ready to implement the development projects he mentioned in his programme.

“We are not merchants of votes and we are not lying to people like political forces that come to get votes in the elections and do not implement their programme after winning,” he said.

The Sudanese president said the government will work to rebuild all that the war destroyed in the Darfur states. He further declared the government’s commitment to providing health and education services, and resettling the displaced as well as paving roads and other needed infrastructures.

Also, he directed the governors Darfur states to provide land for the resettlement of displaced persons where they want and called on all to cooperate to resolve the issues facing the displaced.

14 years after the eruption of Darfur crisis, the IDPs are still in their camps complaining from the insecurity saying the armed militias continue to attack their villages. However, government officials accuse holdout rebel groups of manipulating them.

In another public rally in Nyala, al-Bashir repeated his commitment to develop the state and to complete infrastructure projects.

He further blamed the rebellion for the disruption of development projects in 2003.

“The government signed contracts to supply water to the province with 21 companies, but the rebels blew up these efforts and delayed development projects for 14 years,” he said.

Al-Bashir called for reconciliation among all the tribes and components of the South Darfur state, considering that social peace and security are the most important elements of development.

He also repeated calls to hand over weapons to the state authorities in the whole region saying weapons should be only in the hands of government forces and used for the protection of civilians.