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Security service ends protest against Sudan dams

July 13 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Protest in Sudan (file photo)
Protest in Sudan (file photo)

Security agents violently broke up a protest in Khartoum against the construction of two large dams on Thursday afternoon. They prevented them handing over of a memorandum to the Sudanese Human Rights Commission.

The protest was staged by the Committee against Dal and Kajbar dams, which expected to submit a petition to the Human Rights Commission in the city. The protesters demand the reopening of the investigation into the ‘Kajbar massacre’.

In June 2007, security forces killed four and injured at least 19 people near Sebo in northern Sudan. The people protested peacefully against the planned construction of the Kajbar Dam at the Nile’s Third Cataract.

One of the participants of Thursday’s protest told Radio Dabanga that the security force broke up the protest in front of the Human Rights Commission, in which dozens of protesters took part, and used force to disperse them.

He explained that the members of the security service vacated the staff from the office of the commission, occupied all the entrances and prevented protesters from handing over the memorandum.

In 2007, a security force opened fire on people peacefully protesting against the construction of the Kajbar dam in Sudan’s Northern State and killed four people. At least 19 people were injured.

Last month the Youth Committee Against the Kajbar and Dal Dams has renewed its demand for an investigation into the killing of the peaceful protesters eleven years ago.

The Association of Nubians living in northern Sudan warned that the construction of the two dams will wipe out more than 7,000 years of Nubian civilisation.

Protests against new dams in northern Sudan intensified after Saudi Arabia agreed to finance the construction of the two dams on November 3, 2015. Many opposition forces voiced their support to the Nubian campaign against the dams.

Hydropower

Over the years the government of Sudan has developed plans to increase the provision of power by the construction of a number of extra dams in northern and eastern Sudan. In February this year, the operation of the first turbine of the Upper Atbara-Setit Dam Complex in the El Gedaref-Kassala border area was inaugurated by the Sudanese president.

The 30,000 families displaced by the mega-project complain of high rates of unemployment and poverty because of the government’s non-commitment to compensate the damages to their farmlands.

The government agreed to construct the Kajbar, Dal, and Shireik dams at cataracts of the Nile after passing a framework agreement with Saudi Arabia in 2015, which committed to inject millions for the construction.

Protesters against these dams have been detained by the Sudanese security service on multiple occassions. According to the NGO International Rivers the Kajbar Dam will displace more than 10,000 people and submerge an estimated 500 archaeological sites. The Dal Dam, on the second cataract, will displace at least 5,000 people.


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