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‘Thousands of foreigners seeking gold in North Darfur’s Jebel ‘Amer’

January 9 - 2017 EL SAREIF
El Sareif Beni Hussein locality (UN OCHA map of North Darfur)
El Sareif Beni Hussein locality (UN OCHA map of North Darfur)

Large groups of foreigners are reportedly seeking for gold in the Jebel ‘Amer mine in eastern North Darfur’s El Sareif Beni Hussein locality.

Last week Interior Minister Esmat Abdelrahman demanded the intervention of the army to protect Jebel ‘Amer. He said that the mine is controlled by more than 3,000 people from neighbouring countries.

Multiple sources confirmed to Radio Dabanga from El Sareif Beni Hussein that thousands of heavy armed foreigners are mining in Jebel ‘Amer since 2013.

“These foreigners smuggle large amounts of gold out of Sudan through Chad and Libya,” a listener said. “They are protected by the local communities, and are ready to kill whoever stands in their way.”

According to Ahmed Jaber, Chairman of the El Sareif department of the National Youth Union, “All that what the Minister of Interior said in this regard is correct. The denials by the Rapid Support militia and Musa Hilal’s El Sahwa Council are reflecting their own interests.”

Jaber urged Khartoum to send the army to El Sareif and take control of the Jebel ‘Amer gold mine.

“The government should nationalise the traditional mining for the benefit of the country, north Darfur, and El Sareif Beni Hussein. Private miners obtain at least 10 kilograms of gold a day with traditional methods. Companies can produce much more,” he said.

The Sahwa Revolutionary Council founded by former janjaweed leader Musa Hilal denied the presence of foreign gold miners in Jebel ‘Amer. “El Sareif is not a border area where foreigners can enter in such great numbers,” the Council said in a statement last week. They further said that Sudanese army troops are present in the area for three years.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Sudan’s security apparatus as well denied any foreign presence in El Sareif Beni Hussein. RSF Spokesman Lt. Col. Adam Saleh said that army and paramilitary forces are present in the Jebel ‘Amer mine, “performing their national duty”.

After the army withdrew from Jebel ‘Amer in early 2013, the mining area has witnessed a number of tribal clashes between the Beni Hussein and Abbala tribes.The area is currently under control of Abbala tribesmen.

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