Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

25 April 2014

Sudan: Farmers Protest Factory, Police Demands Rights in Sudan's White Nile

Rabak — Farmers of an agricultural project in Sudan's White Nile state have demonstrated against the arrival of a factory to their lands. Meanwhile, about 500 police contractors in the state have complained about the non-payment of their financial entitlements for two years.

The farmers of the Um Jer agricultural project in White Nile have raised complaints to the Agricultural Committee of the National Assembly. They protest against the transformation of their land in favour of a Mashkour sugar factory.

The farmers have raised banners saying: "The farmers of Um Jer project refuse Almut'afi sugar", and confirmed to reporters that they totally refuse the establishment of a sugar factory on their lands that would amount to more than 20,000 acres.

The former Minister of Finance, Ali Mahmoud, in August 2013 said that Mashkour sugar factory would begin production in the coming few years, as a new boost to the sugar industry in Sudan. A loan agreement was signed between Sudan and India at that time, according to which India will extend 125 million dollars for the establishment of the factory in White Nile.

Police demands financial rights:

One of the 500 police contractors has revealed to Radio Dabanga they have retired since 2011, however they have so far not received their pension entitlements. He complained that they kept enduring the hardship of travelling to Khartoum in order to claim their rights. "The authorities would always tell us that the Ministry of Finance has not paid the entitlements."

He pointed out that they are family care-givers, living in hardship and suffering, and demanded President Omar Al Bashir to intervene and solve their problem.

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