8 February 2013

Sudan: W. Darfur Butchers On Strike for Three Weeks, Meat Prices Rise

Sirba Locality — Butchers of Sirba locality in West Darfur are on strike for the last three weeks because of repeated assaults by pro-government militia who accuse them of stealing cattle.

Several displaced are complaining the strike is leading to the rise in meat prices.

Sources told Radio Dabanga on Friday that militiamen claim to "recognize" the slaughtered cattle saying they had been stolen from them.

They oblige the butchers to pay a fine of 15 million Sudanese pounds for each one of cows "or to die".

Normally a cow costs 5 million pounds, butchers said, pointing out that the actions of the militias are costing them money. They claim not having slaughtered any livestock for the last three weeks.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga the scarcity of meat in the market is increasing its prices.

The value of one kilo of sheep meat rose from 50 to 80 pounds and one kilo of goat now costs 50 pounds, sources outlined.

Before the strike began, they would pay "between 35 and 40 pounds" for a kilo of beef.

These events are taking place in Sirba city, Kendebe, Banjadeed and Birdegig, which are resided mostly by displaced persons, sources said.

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