Khartoum – The Sudanese government said it is considering the formation of a council to combat illicit drugs and psychotropic substances within the framework of the national plan to fight the production and trading of narcotic drugs.
In its meeting on Wednesday, the governance and administration sector in the Sudanese cabinet, underscored the need for this council in order to promote official and popular efforts to combat illicit drugs.
The cabinet reviewed the national anti-narcotic strategy presented by the minister of interior Ismat Abdulrahman, hailing the role played by the police in combating illicit drugs.
The plan called for fighting illicit drugs through monitoring and field work to prevent the proliferation of narcotics in order to ensure safety of the society.
It further called for revitalizing the role of social institutions including families, schools, places of worship and media outlets to reflect harmful effects of illicit drugs besides drafting laws and setting up medical institutions for treatment of addicts.
In June 2013, President Omer Hassan Al Bashir issued a directive to form a supreme council for drug control under his chairmanship with the aim of arriving at a drug-free Sudan.
He expressed commitment to provide the necessary budget to meet the needs of the council, saying his government is ready to combat what he described as the “deadly disease” which weakens the youth, wastes time and threatens nations.
In September 2013, anti-narcotics authorities in Sudan rang the alarm bell over what an official described as the “insane” increases in the domestic rate of illicit drugs intake especially among young segments of the population.
Colonel Salah Sinada of the Anti-Narcotics Department at the Sudanese Ministry of Interior revealed that the percentage of the users of Cannabis or Bango as it is known locally has risen to 34% as extrapolated to the country’s adult population.
He said that Khartoum state, where more than 5 million of the country’s estimated population of 25 million lives, consumes more than 65% of the country’s production.
Cannabis production and consumption is strictly illegal in Sudan. The country’s struggle with the drug was highlighted in the United Nations’ (UN) 2011 World Drug Report which ranks Sudan as number 12 worldwide in terms of seized amounts of cannabis, with 17,255 kg seized in 2009.
Most of Sudan’s Bango production comes from the country’s peripheral areas especially the western region of Darfur where insecurity is high due to an armed conflict between the government and rebel groups.
According to a report issued by the ministry of interior, the anti-narcotic police in 2013 managed to arrest 4,288 drug dealers and seized the largest amount of cocaine smuggled through the country.
Last April, the anti-narcotic police also seized 46 bags filled with 14 million Captagon pills in a shipment coming from Greece through Lebanon to Sudan’s sea port of Port Sudan.
Earlier this month Saudi authorities said they seized 21,106,925 amphetamine tablets of which 13,500,000 came from Sudan in joint anti-drug operations with Khartoum.