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Sudan’s Interior Minister calls for army to control North Darfur gold mine

January 5 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Gold miners in Jebel 'Amer, North Darfur
Gold miners in Jebel 'Amer, North Darfur

The Minister of the Interior of Sudan, Esmat Abdelrahman, has asked for the armed forces to be sent in to control the Jabel ‘Amer gold mining area in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur, which is currently under the control of armed Abbala militiamen.

On Wednesday in Khartoum, the Minister called for “the intervention of the armed forces to extend the state's prestige and control the Jebel ‘Amer gold mine in North Darfur, from the hands of elements armed with heavy weapons and four-wheel-drive vehicles beyond the capabilities of the police”.

The Minister, who was formerly Chief of Staff of Sudan’s armed forces, admitted the failure of the police to enter and control the mine “because of the military machine of the miners, and the huge number of vehicles”.

Replying to a question in Parliament on the situation in the mine, the Minister  that military reinforcements from the Rapid Support Forces managed to enter the area before he announced a meeting next week in Khartoum to confront the situation.

The Minister confirmed the ministry's intention to collect heavy weapons and four-wheel-drive vehicles from the hands of the people in Darfur this year.

He said that his ministry would start procedures by collecting four-wheel-drive vehicles, then heavy weapons and personal weapons in Darfur.

The Jebel ‘Amer mining area has been subject to sporadic tribal clashes between the Beni Hussein and Abbala tribes since 2013. The area is now under control of Abbala militiamen after the army withdrew.

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