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Unrest in South Darfur over ban on tea sellers, teachers’ salaries

May 21 - 2015 GIREIDA
Tea seller in Khartoum (file photo)
Tea seller in Khartoum (file photo)

On Wednesday, tea sellers from the Gireida camp for the displaced in South Darfur staged a sit-in on Wednesday, in front of the offices of the security apparatus and the locality commissioner, against the detention of a colleague. The teachers of Gireida town embarked on a strike in protest against the reduction of their salaries.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, one of the protesters reported that tea seller Hawa Adam Mohamed was detained by security officers during a meeting with the commissioner of Gireida locality on Tuesday.

“Commissioner Mohamed Abdelrahman Gasem met with the tea sellers of the town to convey his decision to prohibit them to do their work, from Wednesday onwards,” she said.

“He told us that it was a precautionary security measure in order to avoid more friction between militiamen of the Rapid Support Forces and the people in the town. Hawa Adam stood up against him, stressing that most of the tea sellers are poor displaced women and widows whose sole earnings come from the sale of tea and coffee.

“The commissioner became angry and called us Tora Bora [slang for Darfur rebels], whereupon security agents took Hawa away. She was released after our protest on Wednesday.”

Strike

The teachers in Gireida announced a strike on Wednesday, in protest against a five percent deduction of their salaries.

Adam El Zein, Chairman of the Gireida branch of the Teachers’ Union, told Radio Dabanga that five percent was deducted from their salaries last month, “with the argument that the locality is in need of financial support”.

He explained that the same percentage was deducted last year, for the period of five months, based on an agreement between the commissioner and the Union that the money would be returned.

“Yet, the commissioner did not keep his promise. This time we strongly opposed the idea, but when we received our April salaries, we discovered that the measure was implemented. That is why we decided on a strike. We are all present at the schools, but do not teach,” he said.


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