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‘Over 500 miscarriages caused by gold mining’: South Kordofan advocacy team

April 3 - 2018 TADAMON
Protests in northern Sudan’s Sawarda against the gold mining site in the area on April 8, 2017 (RD)
Protests in northern Sudan’s Sawarda against the gold mining site in the area on April 8, 2017 (RD)

The national committee for environmental advocacy and victims of mining in South Kordofan reported a high number of miscarriages and births of deformed children in areas where gold mining companies have been accused of polluting the environment.

Dr Siddig Tawer, an adviser of the advocacy committee, claimed that there have been 576 miscarriages and 18 deformity cases at El Tadamon locality in South Kordofan as a result of mining activities in the region, from 2015 to 2018. The claims follow the investigation done by a medical team in the locality in January.

The team, led by the Health Minister of South Kordofan, investigated a reported increase in the number of miscarriages, the birth of deformed children, and cases of kidney failure in El Tadamon. These deteriorating health conditions are often attributed to the result of environmental pollution caused by the use of toxics by mining companies in the region.

“The federal and state authorities responsible for the environmental crisis happening to the people of the area,” Sidig Tawer told Radio Dabanga. “Authorities have not yet formed investigation committees, because they intend to protect those companies from legal accountability.”

The adviser said that the companies operating in South Kordofan – ranging from Sudanese to Chinese companies – deceive local communities by handing them services such as a water well and maintenance of a dilapidated school. “While the companies have been working and planning for a bigger profit with a lower return.”

“Khartoum turns into a realtor of the country’s property, selling it to everyone: as evidenced by the Chinese company in Kassala state.” - Adviser Dr Siddig Tawer

Legal accountability

Recently a Chinese mining company disappeared from Kassala state without notification, leaving behind equipment and machinery with an estimated value of millions of dollars.

Last week documents were released indicating that the state government enticed the Chinese partners to disengage their partnership with Sudanese businessmen and sign a contract with the state government in the name of Kassala Mining Company. This subjected the Chinese partners to legal issues that led to their departure for fear of legal accountability.

Today, however, the deputy speaker of Sudan’s National Assembly, Dr Badria Suleiman, stressed the strength of relations between Sudan and China, saying that Sudan “stands as a gate for China into the African continent”.

Suleiman addressed the forum of the Sudanese-Chinese Trade Union, held at the Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum. The official Sudanese News Agency (Suna) reported that the deputy speaker stressed that relations between the two countries have reached the level of strategic cooperation. “The level of economic cooperation and development could be seen clearly in all Sudanese states.


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