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Workers from Darfur complain of abuses, exploitation in El Gedaref

October 5 - 2016 EL GEDAREF
El Gedaref state (OCHA)
El Gedaref state (OCHA)

Seasonal ‘Jango Jora’ workers from Darfur and the Nuba Mountains complain of severe abuses and exploitation by the owners of agricultural projects in El Gedaref State.

Every year, many hundreds of people from Darfur (popularly known as Jango Jora workers) seek seasonal employment in the large industrial farming projects in Sudan’s El Gedaref state, southeast of Khartoum and adjacent to the Ethiopian border.

One of the workers told Radio Dabanga that agricultural project owners routinely renege on their agreements with the workers, underpay them, and feed them meagre rations.

However, as the area is isolated and not served by any public transport. They must therefore accept the low wages, long hours, and poor nutrition, as they are dependent on their employers for their passage home, he said.

Broken promises

He said that when the workers are recruited in Darfur, the employers might offer to pay them SDG100 ($16) for a seven-hour shift. The work is hard, cultivating sorghum, millet, sesame, and sunflowers.

“Then, once the workers reach the isolated projects in El Gedaref, they discover they will only be paid SDG30 ($5) for a shift,” he says. “By this time, they are far from home, so they have no alternative but to accept the low pay.” He says the workers are also poorly fed: two meals a day consisting of a dry fish and lentils.

He appealed to the state and federal authorities to investigate and put an end to the unscrupulous practices of the El Gedaref farmers.

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