Omdurman residents want no more gunfire at weddings

The residents of Sudan’s twin capital, Omdurman’s Karari locality, have voiced their concern over celebratory gunfire at weddings amidst the ongoing conflict.

They said such practices led to injuries and instilled fear and panic among the populace, urging the government to end the practice.

Alaa-Adin Abdallah told Radio Tamazuj that the weekly celebratory gunfire was “tormenting”  the residents. He added: “We are already dealing with enough stress.”

Mohammed Osman said: “The rampant stray bullets have become excessive, causing widespread fear and panic,” noting that they often led to power outages. He recounted being hit by a stray bullet in his toe, emphasizing the urgent need for government intervention.

In 2021, the then-Governor of Khartoum, Ayman Khalid, prohibited the use of firearms and loud explosives at public and private events in Khartoum, whether the weapons were licensed or not.

The decree stipulated penalties for civilians firing shots at events, including imprisonment for no less than six months and up to two years, or a fine of 100,000 pounds, or both, with confiscation of the firearm. Repeat offenders faced imprisonment from two to five years, a fine of 200,000 pounds, and firearm confiscation.

Members of the armed forces caught firing weapons at events faced imprisonment from one to five years, or a fine of 150,000 pounds, or both, with the weapon surrendered to the relevant unit.

Mohammed Ahmed told of his frequent frustration with gunfire at events, calling on the government to stop it due to the numerous injuries caused.

“At the very least, this phenomenon should be halted during the current period as we are already tense from the war,” he added.

Igbal Al-Bagir said: “Children have become frightened by the slightest noise, creating a state of terror.”

She emphasized that celebrations can be joyous without the use of firearms.

Sahar Abu Zeid highlighted that weddings had increased during the conflict, accompanied by what she described as “frightening” gunfire. She called on the government to prevent the spread of the practice.

Sudanese citizens have been living under the constant barrage of shelling and gunfire for nearly a year and a half due to the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces.