21 November 2017

Sudan: Woman Arrested for Leaking About Darfur Market Corruption

Abuja — A woman has been arrested for leaking about corrupt practices in the re-planning of the Abuja market in South Darfur, which suffered large fires in March and December.

Members of the Sudanese security service arrested Kaltoum Abakar El Malik in Gireida locality after she publicly disclosed violations in the organisation of the re-planning of the Abuja market. The market is mainly visited by displaced people.

El Malik is an employee of the Department of Collection in Gireida. A number of activists informed Radio Dabanga that she had leaked documents which showed corrupt practices in the market's re-planning.

According to the activists the authorities have set aside 300 pieces of land outside the lot: these include 100 pieces that are allocated to the Sudanese presidency, 100 pieces to the Gireida security committee, 50 pieces to the state governor and 50 to the Gireida land office.

In principle, the criminal law protects civil servants who report cases of corruption, graft, abuse of power, or abuse of resource from retaliation.

Infernos

Market traders have staged protests against the plans of the committee which is in charge of the re-planning. The Abuja market burned down in March this year and December 2016 and the financial losses for shop owners were vast: ultimately they estimated the losses to be more than SDG20 million ($3 million)] and SDG8million ($1.25 million) respectively.

Following the massive fire in March this year, members of the Sudanese security service (NISS) prevented a South Darfur legislative council member from taking photographs of the scene. The NISS also threatened to take action against anyone speaking to or sending pictures of the fire to the press.

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