3 December 2017

Sudan: South Kordofan Omdas Stripped of Powers Pending Investigation Into Anti-Mine Protests

Kologi — The authorities in South Kordofan stripped two Omdas of their powers on Thursday for their alleged role in a series of anti-mine protests in Kologi since 12 November.

Correspondents from the area told Radio Dabanga that Omda Abdallah Luka and Omda El Toam were reportedly stripped of their powers pending police investigations into their role in mass protests.

The protests turned violent on 17 November when an angry mob burned the house of the commissioner of Kologi and locality buildings, rejecting the activities of the gold mining companies which they accuse of using the toxic chemical cyanide, which can contaminate the environment and harm humans, animals and nature.

Detainees

The families of four men who have been in detention at Kadugli prison as a result of the protests have demanded the immediate release of their sons.

The families of Khalid Abdallah, Saleem El Fadh, Hussein Ali Saleh, and Khalid Sambo Mohammed, told this station that the prison authorities in Kadugli have denied them visits to their sons at the request of the prosecution.

The protest preceding the detentions erupted after Friday prayers on 17 November when dozens of residents from El Tirtir and El Tadamon gathered for a vigil in front of the house of the locality commissioner. A delegation of the Sudanese Company for Mining held a symposium there at the time.

Riot police shot and wounded three protesters, including a higher secondary school student. He was taken to Abu Jubeiha hospital for treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries.

State of Emergency

In October, authorities in the state declared a State of Emergency. Sources in the area said that the curfew was imposed following the rejection by residents against the state's invitation to gold mining companies to operate in the area of Kologi. In particular the youth of Kologi protest the use of toxic materials in gold mining, and publicly expressed their fear for their health and the environment, a listener said.

Cyanidation, a technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore, is the most commonly used process for gold extraction. The process is controversial because of the highly toxic nature of cyanide.

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