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Sudan’s Northern State expropriates farmlands in Merowe

July 1 - 2015 MEROWE
A farmer in Dongola, Northern State (The Niles)
A farmer in Dongola, Northern State (The Niles)

The Ministry of Agriculture of Sudan’s Northern State has confiscated 400 acres of land at the Alar agricultural project in Merowe locality, to offer them to foreign investors.

“Most of the investors are Turks and Saudis,” an affected farmer told Radio Dabanga. “We have attempted to use all legal means to stop the confiscation. The authorities, however, have obstructed us on various occasions.”

He said that in April the Ministry issued a list of 80 people whose farmlands were to be expropriated, under the pretext that they were lying fallow. “Yet, we have not been able to cultivate our lands because the government failed to provide the canals required for irrigation.”

The fallow lands lie in Part II of the Alar project, extending from El Dom in Merowe locality to El Debab and Fitna. The farmer expressed his fear that the investors will not plant wheat and beans, “which will adversely affect the people in the area”.

The farmer further warned for new waves of displacement, as the Northern State Ministry of Agriculture has decided to expropriate all uncultivated lands in the state.

He therefore called on the Sudanese Presidency to “urgently intervene, and resolve the problem”.                                                                                                                                    

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