7 February 2013

Sudan: East Darfur Oilfield - Three Arrested, 'Thousands' Protest

Ed Daein — Security services arrested three civilians on Wednesday who were demanding compensation for damages caused by the establishment of an oilfield in their home area.

The detainees were representing their comunity of Shak Tayyib in Adila locality, East Darfur.

The arrests led "thousands" to stage a protest in the state's capital, Ed Daein, demanding the immediate release of the prisoners, sources told Radio Dabanga.

Shak Tayyib residents claim their lands were confiscated by the government "without their consent" because of the establishment of the oilfield Surga Ummhadit, inaugurated last December.

They also claim that oil residues are spreading around the area and damaging the water source and grazing of their cattle.

Sources disclosed the security services arrested the men by requesting a meeting with them under the false pretenses of possibly starting negotiations about compensations.

Mohamed Rohoda Ma'ala, Idriss Ahmed Abdel Karim, and another man whose name is still unknown, were taken to a prison in Adila, where the native administration and the commissioner intervened and released them on bail hours later.

Members of the security services arrested the men again and this time transferred them to their office in Ed Daein.

This led thousands of people from Shak Tayyib and neighboring villages to stage a protest on Thursday in the state's capital demanding the prisoner's immediate release.

East Darfur's deputy traveled to Ed Daein and urged the crowd to halt the protest claiming he would release the prisoners.

The demonstrators responded they wanted the three men freed and back to Shak Tayyib before putting an end to the rallies.

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