10 July 2017

Sudan: Two Killed in South Kordofan Dispute Over Gold Extraction Plant

Abu Jubeiha — Two people were killed and seven others were wounded in a clash between residents of Merifein village, south of Abu Jubeiha in eastern South Kordofan, on Saturday.

Ahmed Mukhtar, Secretary-general of the National Committee for the Protection of the Environment in South Kordofan, told Radio Dabanga that a dispute rose among the villagers about the gold extraction plant in the area.

"The people discussed whether or not the factory that extracts gold by using deadly cyanide could remain near the village," he said.

"However the dispute intensified, in the end led to a shooting, in which two died. Seven others sustained bullet wounds and were transported to the Abu Jubeiha Hospital."

Mukhtar said that the Committee holds the Governor of South Kordofan, the Commissioner of Abu Jubeiha, and the management of the gold extraction company responsible for the health of the residents of Merifein.

He appealed to the villagers to resolve the issue peacefully, and called on the local authorities to maintain security in the village.

Toxic

For more than two years, the National Committee for the Protection of the Environment in South Kordofan, that developed from the Abu Jubeiha Citizens' Committee, is warning for the health and environmental hazards of using highly toxic cyanide to extract gold from ore.

They are not alone. Protests against gold cyanidation plants in several parts of the country have increased, in particularly this year. In northern Sudan, North Kordofan, and North Darfur people took to the streets as well in fear for their health.

In March, police was deployed to protect the about 100 cyanidation plants in South Kordofan after angry people torched parts of a gold extraction factory in Talodi. They could not prevent, however, the burning of a cyanidation site in El Tagola on 29 March.

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