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Houses demolished ‘in error’ in Sudanese capital

August 31 - 2015 KHARTOUM
The remains of El Kheirat Basic School in Khartoum, demolished by the authorities on 23 August 2015 (RD)
The remains of El Kheirat Basic School in Khartoum, demolished by the authorities on 23 August 2015 (RD)

Ahmed El Shayeb, chairman of the parliamentary Social Affairs Committee, says a that “an error occurred” with the demolition of houses in El Kheirat neighbourhood in south-east Khartoum on 23 August.

He told reporters on Sunday that the body tasked with the implementing the removal demolished the neighbourhood of El Kheirat in Soba East district entirely instead of partially, as ordered by the director-general of the Khartoum state Lands Commission.

El Shayeb criticised the body that implemented the Lands Commission’s decision for not taking the rainy season and the absence of alternative housing for the affected people into account.

The Social Affairs Committee has requested humanitarian organisations and the Zakat [Muslim alms] Chamber to provide aid to the 580 affected families. Arrangements are being made to compensate and re-settle them, he said.

He added that while the parliamentary Social Affairs Committee is against illegal dwellings, it also acknowledges the people’s rights to housing.

Hundreds of illegally built houses as well as a basic school in El Kheirat were demolished last Sunday. A force of police and security agents arrived at the neighbourhood in about 18 lorries and 12 Hilux vehicles, a resident told Radio Dabanga. They evacuated the children from the El Kheirat Basic School and the residents from their houses, and immediately proceeded to pull the buildings down.

21 people who protested against the action were arrested and beaten. They were released the following day.

Most of the residents of El Kheirat are displaced people from Darfur who sought refuge in the Sudanese capital from the war that started in 2003.

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