West Kordofan citizens end three-month strike

Residents of the Lagawa locality who embarked on a sit-in for 95 days have reached their goals for the implementation and improvement of basic services.

Residents of the Lagawa locality in Sudan’s West Kordofan state called off their three-month strike on Saturday after authorities began to implement development projects, a member of the protest committee said.

For 95 days, beginning 12 November, local youths occupied the Lagawa town square demanding the government provide basic services to citizens. The protestors said they would not participate in Sudan's elections scheduled for April and would annex Lagawa to South Kordofan state if their demands were not met.

Jalal Fadel El Mula, member of the protesting youths, told Radio Tamazuj that they decided to stop their demonstration after local authorities started implementing some development projects including schools and rehabilitation of healthcare centers. He further said a committee comprised of local youth had been formed in order to supervise the completion of the projects.

Hundreds of participating residents previously said they wouldn’t call off the strike unless the government pledged to improve basic services, including drinking water, electricity, and decent road conditions.

In late January, the emir of Western Nuba Mountains Tutu Abdallah Kafi urged the protesters to call off the strike since the state government started to build dams, bridges, and water reservoirs in the locality.

Authorities attempted to stop the strike, including by threatening to transfer Lagawa teachers who supported the occupiers and preventing protest leaders from meeting with Sudan's vice president. The protestors refused to leave the square despite the threats and the teachers said they would instead resign.