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Wounded dam protester: 'Khartoum security was extremely violent'

February 19 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Detained protesters during their protest against a signing conference for the construction agreement of the three Nile dams, on 17 February 2016, in Khartoum (RD)
Detained protesters during their protest against a signing conference for the construction agreement of the three Nile dams, on 17 February 2016, in Khartoum (RD)

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, who participated in the anti-dam demonstration in Khartoum on Wednesday is recovering from his wounds after being badly beaten by anti-riot police. “I was injured on both legs. People were severely beaten although the march was peaceful.”

A signing ceremony for the funding agreement for the Kajbar, Dal, and El Shireik dams in northern Sudan, attended by President Omar Al Bashir, was held at El Salam Rotana Hotel in the Sudanese capital on Wednesday afternoon. Security and police forces violently dispersed the large number of people that had joined the popular committees opposing the dams in their demonstration in front of the hotel.

Among the people wounded by the violence were two former Sudanese officials, former Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Taha Ayoub and a former judge in Sudan's higher court. All 30 detained protesters have been released again.

“We were peacefully sending a message, that the Nubians will not accept the construction of these dams.”

“I was beaten on both legs by security forces with the purpose of causing me disability, but I am fine now. Others were severely beaten while they peacefully chanted slogans against the construction of the dams,” he told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum on Thursday. He said that the goal of the protest was sending a message to the authorities that the Nubians in Sudan will not accept the interference of the Saudi Arabian government in funding the construction of the protested dams.

“If it is a matter of electricity production, there are Saudi companies with good investment operations in extracting solar and wind energy in Morocco. Authorise them to invest in the northern region in Sudan,” he reiterated to the government in Saudi Arabia.

At least nine wounded

One of the committees against the dams reported that one of the other wounded protesters is Abbas Tawfiq, a former judge in the supreme court. He sustained injuries in his eye because of the violence that was used by the security forces to disperse the riot.

“At least seven other people were injured, too,” spokesman Rafat Hassan Abbas told Radio Dabanga. He added that authorities have filed a complaint against the heads of the organisations that participated in the demonstrations against dams in northern Sudanese towns on Saturday.

The opposition against the proposed dams intensified following the signing of funding agreements for the construction between Sudan and Saudi Arabia in November last year, as the anti-dam committees call upon all Sudanese and opposition parties to unite against the plans.

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