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Sudan’s Nubians speak out against more dams

November 16 - 2015 NORTHERN STATE / KHARTOUM
A member of the Youth Committee Against the Kajbar and Dal Dams during a public debate at the University of Khartoum, 11 November 2015 (RD)
A member of the Youth Committee Against the Kajbar and Dal Dams during a public debate at the University of Khartoum, 11 November 2015 (RD)

The Popular Committee Against the Kajbar Dam has accused the Sudanese government of seeking to exterminate the Nubian people and their civilization. The residents of Northern State’s El Birgeeg locality warned fof the transformation of the region into another Darfur if the government sticks to its plans to construct the Dal, Kajbar, and El Shireik dams.

The chairman of the Committee, Ezzeldin Idris Mohamed, told reporters on Saturday that the Nubians reject the building of the dam, “even if they are given the Presidential Palace as compensation”.

The Committee held a meeting with the sheikhs of the Northern Sudanese Mahas tribe and leaders from the areas of Badeen and Kerma at Simit Island in the Nile, south of Kerma, on Saturday morning.

The participants of the meeting all confirmed their intention not to leave their land for the construction of the Kajbar dam. They warned the authorities of the consequences of the flooding of their land and the destruction of their civilisation. They also demanded compensation for protesters slain in the past.

“Raising their hands at the end of the meeting, the participants vowed to stay on their lands or die,” the chairman reported.

Declaration of war

The people living in Northern State’s El Birgeeg locality described the construction of the Dal, Kajbar and El Shereik dams as a declaration of a war on the whole northern region.

“The dams will only be constructed on our dead bodies.”

The Field Committee Against the Construction of the Dal and Kajbar Dams said in a statement on Sunday that they will “never remain silent if the tyrant government insists on the construction of dams”. They stressed that they will defend their land by all means.

The northern activists warned for the transformation of the region into another Darfur if the government keeps to its plans to construct the dams.

Youth protest

The Youth Committee Against the Kajbar and Dal Dams organised a public debate at the University of Khartoum last Wednesday.

In a speech, they strongly denounced the power projects, that will be co-financed by Saudi Arabia, as earlier this month was agreed in El Riyadh. The young activists stressed that they are ready to give their lives for the survival of the Nubian heritage. “The dams will only be constructed on our dead bodies.”

They lauded the Sudanese Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) for standing by them in their rejection of the dams.

Nile dams

The Merowe Dam, at the fourth Nile cataract, was completed in 2009. The project doubled Sudan’s electricity generation, but displaced and impoverished more than 50,000 people from the Nile Valley. Protests were violently suppressed.

In the past years, the Sudanese government also responded harshly to protests against the Dal and Kajbar dams, planned to be constructed at the second and third cataract respectively. In 2007, security forces killed four people, and injured at least 20 others during a peaceful protest against the construction of the Kajbar Dam. Nubian activists were detained last and this year. Those displaced by the Merowe dam are still waiting for compensation.

Map: internationalrivers.org


 


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