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Renewed brick factory demolition protests in Sudan capital

December 7 - 2017 EL JIREIF EAST
Residents gather in El Jireif East on 23 November 2017, as bulldozers and trucks arrive to demolish the brick factories (RD)
Residents gather in El Jireif East on 23 November 2017, as bulldozers and trucks arrive to demolish the brick factories (RD)

Six people were injured and seven others arrested in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Wednesday after renewed clashes between residents of El Jireif east and police over the demolition of brick factories.

Badreldin El Haj, one of the notables of El Jireif east, told Radio Dabanga that at 8 am on Wednesday, a police contingent consisting of dozens of vehicles accompanied by bulldozers raided the district and destroyed more than 50 brick factories.

He said the police used tear gas and batons to disperse the protesters, caused injuries to six people and arrested seven others.

El Haj said a helicopter was flying at low altitude over the district and three ferry boats on the Blue Nile were towards the district “to terrorise the protesters”.

The residents of El Jireif east have warned the buyers in the Blue Nile housing development against completing the purchase procedures.

They have considered in a statement the construction of the development as contrary to the agreements between the residents of the district and the authorities.

The statement also has praised the position and resignations made by a number of the popular committee leaders in solidarity with the residents of the district.

Plots sold

The state government has sold the plots to investors, including the brick factories that are considered historical, to be replaced by a new residential area.

On 27 November, a security force consisting of 71 lorries and 53 other vehicles cordoned-off the brick factories where the repeated protests revolve around.

Residents of El Jireif took to the street to defend the land, but a joint security and police force used tear gas to disperse the crowd and hit demonstrators with batons.

El Haj told Radio Dabanga at the time that one of the demonstrators, Khalid Babikir, lost several of his fingers caused by the explosion of a tear gas canister. Eleven others were injured, while reportedly six people fainted because of suffocation.

Two demonstrators were arrested by the security service. In a demonstration held by residents the previous week, one person was arrested. On 12 October, El Jireif’s residents forced police to withdraw from the area, preventing the demolition of brick factories.

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