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Sudan environment activists: ‘El Gedaref forest risks becoming barren desert’

February 15 - 2020 EL GEDAREF
Gum Arabic farmer in El Gedaref (File photo)
Gum Arabic farmer in El Gedaref (File photo)

Sudanese environmental activists warn that the 70-year-old El Feel forest in El Gedaref state, originally designed to counter desert encroachment, “risks being transformed into a barren desert” due to uncontrolled clearances and the transformation of the forest into agricultural lands.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, activist Ahmed Ibrahim, head of the resistance committee of El Rawashda area in El Gedaref state, called-out the director of the forest and its guards to be responsible for the illegal cutting. Ibrahim says that activists have repeatedly demanded investigation into the illegal cutting, and call for the dismissal of the officials and for those involved to be brought to justice.

Ibrahim emphasized that the destruction of the forest will accelerate desert encroachment and lead to a deterioration in environmental conditions, He explained that the forest was created 70 years ago in order to counter desert encroachment. He said that 124,000 acres dedicated to the production of gum Arabic is adjacent to 13 villages.

Ibrahim says that the activists have submitted notes to the locality’s executive director and to the Forces for Freedom and Change in El Gedaref state in preparation for submitting their demands to the Federal Minister of Agriculture.

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