Sudan: Nubians demand release of activist against Kajbar Dam
Dozens of Nubians gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice in Khartoum on Tuesday, in protest against the detention of Nubian activist Rashed Sheikheldin.
The protesters submitted a memorandum demanding his immediate release or a fair trial.
Sheikheldin, chairman of the Nubian Youth Committee Against the Kajbar and Dal Dams, was detained by security forces in Khartoum on 23 September, while he was attending a meeting in preparation of a commemoration ceremony of Nubians killed during protests against the construction of the Kajbar and Dal dams in northern Sudan’s Nile valley.
Relatives of Sheikheldin said that they do not know where he is being held. They fear for his life as he suffers from a kidney disease.
Major dams projects
According to the International Rivers organisation, the Sudanese government plans to transform the Nile, “the only stretch of fertile land north of Khartoum”, into a string of water reservoirs.
The Merowe Dam was completed in 2009. The project doubled Sudan’s electricity generation, but displaced more than 50,000 people from the Nile Valley to arid desert locations. Protests were violently suppressed.
The planned Kajbar Dam on the Nile’s third cataract will create a reservoir of 110 square km, and generate 360 megawatts of electricity. According to International Rivers, the project will displace more than 10,000 people and submerge an estimated 500 archaeological sites. The Dal Dam on the second cataract would have a capacity of 340-450 megawatts, and would displace at least 5,000 people.
The Sudanese government has responded harshly to protests against the Kajbar and Dal Dams. In 2007, security forces killed four, and injured at least 20 people protesting peacefully against the construction of the Kajbar Dam. The affected Nubians have warned that the projects could lead to a conflict similar to that of Darfur.
File photo: Graffiti saying “No Dal, No Kajbar” (medievalsaiproject.wordpress.com)
Map of major dams projects in Sudan by International Rivers
‘Khartoum’s financial policies crime against Sudan’: economist (28 October 2014)
Sudan: Northern State districts demand electricity (21 August 2014)
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