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Arrests during renewed water protests in North Kordofan

June 22 - 2018 EL OBEID
File photo: Demonstration in Delling, South Kordofan, in 2016 (RD)
File photo: Demonstration in Delling, South Kordofan, in 2016 (RD)

More than 20 people were arrested during a demonstration in El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, for the provision of water on Wednesday.

People from El Saha district cut off the main El Obeid-En Nahud road in a two-hour protest against the ongoing water outage. Members of the security apparatus arrested more than 20 demonstrators and used tear gas and batons on the crowd to disperse them.

State authorities tried to calm down the situation at the start of the protest. Officials announced that water tankers were sent to the district as a temporary solution. Demonstrators refused to obey the authorities’ call to stop the protest and demanded that the water would be delivered through the pipes.

A witness said that the excessive use of tear gas and force by the security service caused fainting to a number of demonstrators, who were transferred to Shikan hospital.

Lawyer Osman Hassan confirmed the arrest of more than 20 demonstrators and that they were transferred to the police station in Shikan, “for investigation in preparation of the filing of complaints against them”.

Hassan told Radio Dabanga that the arrests prompted residents of El Saha to gather again, this time to demand the immediate release of the detainees. Police have arrested Mohamed Suleiman Ahmed in this protest and he was taken from the Shikan police station to the offices of the Sudanese security apparatus (NISS) in El Obeid.

On May 15, hundreds of residents from neighbourhoods in El Obeid also took to the streets in two separate demonstrations, to protest the ongoing interruption of water services. People showed their discontent regarding the lack of water that had lasted for more than a month, which increased the price of a barrel of water.

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