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Dams protesters detained in Sudanese capital

December 14 - 2015 KHARTOUM/ PORT SUDAN
Statue of a Nubian pharaoh near the proposed Kajbar Dam (Brian McMorrow/Pbase)
Statue of a Nubian pharaoh near the proposed Kajbar Dam (Brian McMorrow/Pbase)

A number of people were detained by security and police agents in Khartoum and Port Sudan on Saturday.

In Khartoum, security officers held 12 Manaseer tribesmen who protested against the deterioration of the basic services in the area of El Makabrab in River Nile state.

It was the second protest this month against the low level of basic services in areas where Manaseer were relocated to during the construction of the Merowe Dam between 2005 and 2009. On 2 December, a number of Manaseer living in the area of Emre staged a protest in the Sudanese capital against “the tragic situation” they are living in since they were relocated to the area. They demanded improvements to the water, health, and education services in their new region.

The Merowe Dam, 350 kilometres north of Khartoum, was officially opened in 2010. It doubled Sudan’s electricity generation capacity but displaced more than 50,000 people, most of them of the Manaseer tribe, from the Nile Valley to arid desert locations. Protests have been violently suppressed. The people are still awaiting compensation.

Kajbar and Dal dams

Dr Abuzar Ali Mohamed, Secretary-General of the Alliance of Nubian Entities, was detained in the southern Khartoum Abu Adam district for organising a public workshop against the construction of more dams in northern Sudan.

The authorities responded harshly to protests held in the past years against the Dal and Kajbar dams, planned to be built at the second and third cataract respectively.

Now the construction of both dams will be completed with Saudi funding, the Nubian people are raising their voices again. On 15 November, the Popular Committee Against the Kajbar Dam accused the Sudanese government of seeking to exterminate the Nubian people and their civilization.

A week before, the Association of Nubians warned that the construction of the two dams will wipe out more than 7,000 years of Nubian civilisation, and called for a large campaign against the dams in Sudan and abroad.

Several Nubians have warned for the transformation of the region into another Darfur if the government continues with the construction of the Dal, Kajbar, and El Shereik dams.

According to International Rivers the building of the Kajbar Dam will displace more than 10,000 people and submerge an estimated 500 archaeological sites.

The Dal Dam on the second cataract will have a capacity of 340-450 megawatts, and would displace at least 5,000 people.

Port Sudan

The police in Port Sudan detained members of Electricity Committees of three districts on Saturday.

“They failed to collect fees for the construction of power connections to El Gadisiya, Um El Gura and El Matar districts,” a listener told Radio Dabanga from the Red Sea state capital.


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