Two detained in South Kordofan for ‘inciting Kologi anti-mine protest’
Two men were detailed by authorities in South Kordofan on Thursday: Khalid Abdallah and Salim El Fadil are accused of inciting demonstrations in Kologi last weekend against mining companies operating in the region using cyanide which is harmful to human and animal health.
During the demonstrations hundreds of angry protesters burned the house of the commissioner of Kalogi and locality buildings, rejecting the activities of the gold mining companies which they accuse of using the toxic chemical cyanide, which can contaminate the environment and harm humans, animals and nature.
Riot police shot and wounded three protesters, including a higher secondary school student who succumbed to his injuries.
Witnesses said the arrested men were transferred to Kadugli on Friday, and that that searches are under way to arrest others.
The protest erupted after the Friday prayers when dozens of residents from El Tirtir and El Tadamon gathered for a vigil in front of the house of the locality commissioner. A delegation of the Sudanese Company for Mining held a symposium there at the time.
Ahmed Mukhtar, the secretary-general of the national environmental protection committee, told Radio Dabanga: “Their symposium was held to persuade residents to allow mining companies to operate in the area.”
He added that people from El Tirtir strongly refused this and started demonstrating, which prompted the delegation of the Sudanese Mining Company to immediately leave the locality.
State of Emergency
Last month the authorities in the state declared a State of Emergency. Sources in the area said that the curfew was imposed following the rejection by residents against the state's invitation to gold mining companies to operate in the area of Kologi. In particular the youth of Kologi protest the use of toxic materials in gold mining, and publicly expressed their fear for their health and the environment, a listener said.
Cyanidation, a technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore, is the most commonly used process for gold extraction. The process is controversial because of the highly toxic nature of cyanide.
The people of Delgo in the Northern state announced their categorical rejection of Daeche mining factory, which began its work using cyanide north of the area last Wednesday.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that in June, the authorities secretly transferred the factory from Sibo area after escalation of peaceful protests there to Delgo area and imposed a security cordon on the factory to prevent people from approaching it. People have threatened to escalate peaceful protests to stop the factory and form a broad anti-mining committee in the Nubian region.
According to a report The Politics of Mining and Trading of Gold in Sudan: Challenges of Corruption and Lack of Transparency compiled by Elfadil Elsharief Elhashmi for the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) and released last week, the gold industry in Sudan is affected by country’s legal and institutional framework, “bureaucratic and political corruption, including embezzlement, cronyism and patronage.”
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