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Farmers kidnapped in eastern Sudan

November 1 - 2015 EL GEDAREF
Farmers in eastern Sudan (UNEP)
Farmers in eastern Sudan (UNEP)

Ethiopian gunmen kidnapped three farmers in Basanda near the Sudanese-Ethiopian border in El Gedaref state on Saturday.

“The gunmen intercepted Alameldin Abdelgadir, Shamseldin Ismail Adam from Basanga village and Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim from the village of Allam. The farmers were on their way to their farms to harvest sesame. They were taken to an unknown destination,” a fellow farmer reported to Radio Dabanga from the area.

“Not much later, the kidnappers called the farmers’ relatives and demanded a ransom of SDG120,000 ($19,700) for their release.”

'A second Darfur'

Eastern Sudan is witnessing an increase of attacks, armed robberies, and abductions lately, many of them conducted by armed Ethiopians. Last Tuesday, the situation was discussed in the federal Parliament. 

Mubarak El Nur, MP for El Fashaga constituency in El Gedaref, said that Ethiopian gangs have taken large tracts of Sudanese farmland, after they expelled Sudanese farmers from their lands. Large numbers of Ethiopian farmers are now cultivating the stolen lands.

On 11 October, two women were abducted and two men were injured in Kassala state. In El Gedaref's El Galabat locality, Sudanese soldiers and an armed group of Ethiopians clashed near the border on the same day. ​

In September, armed men from “a neighbouring country” abducted a group of people in Kassala state. In El Gedaref state, a number of agricultural machines were stolen and taken to Ethiopia. Armed men also ambushed several vehicles on the Red Sea highway and robbed the passengers of their belongings. 

Hamed Idris, former member of the Legislative Council of the Red Sea state, warned for further worsening of the situation if nothing is done. He told Radio Dabanga at the time that the situation the increasing violence against citizens in the region marks “the beginning of the transformation of eastern Sudan into another Darfur”.

Idris accused the government of being weak and unable to establish the rule of law in the country. “The Sudanese government only focuses on securing Khartoum and ignores the rest of Sudan. The repercussions of this political behaviour on eastern Sudan are disastrous,” he said.



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