The local official in charge of the Jebel Amer gold mine in El Sareif locality in North Darfur has issued a decision whereby he dissolved the Native Committee for Mining and the police have ordered the administrative staff to immediately leave, after Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen seized raw gold by force.
Sources told Radio Dabanga that members of the RSF under the command of an officer named Abu Shouk allegedly loaded gold-bearing rocks onto four vehicles at night.
The militiamen than transferred them to nearby mining mills where they forced the owners of the mills to grind what they had seized.
Jebel Amer is a major source of gold for Sudan. The raw gold is mined by traditional methods and should be sold via accredited dealers, however recent reports suggest that a large proportion of the gold produced by traditional mining methods in Sudan is being smuggled to neighbouring countries such as Egypt or Eritrea because of poor prices offered by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).
The Ministry of Oil and Minerals has acknowledged the smuggling of gold because of the lack of a rewarding price for the producers, and alleges the existence of large stored quantities of gold.