El Jiraif — A police contingent that descended on El Jiraif neighbourhood to carry out a state order demolish brick factories was forced to withdraw after they were faced-down by angry residents on Thursday. A woman died when police used tear gas and others were shot by live ammunition used to disperse similar protests in May last year.
A member of the follow-up committee of El Jiraif lands, Badreldin El Haj, said that on Thursday a heavily armed police force came to demolish the brick factories but a gathering of the residents expressed their total rejection of the implementation of the order and forced the force to withdraw.
The residents' position is that the brick factories have stood in the neighbourhood for a long time and are considered historical. The Sudanese authorities have sold the plots to investors, who will allegedly construct modern residences after removing the factories and the old houses. However the residents reject the sale of the land to investors and claim ownership of the land for themselves.
El Haj confirmed that the committee considered the decision as a pretext and an entry point to seize their lands and then hand them over to local and foreign investors.
He said that the state government announced the implementation of the order to demolish the brick factories by force on Sunday. He warned against the implementation of the order, referring to the clashes last year.
El Haj stated that "the people of the area are ready to defend their lands".