1 March 2018

Sudan: Huge Losses As Gold Mining Facilities Vandalised in Northern State

Northern State — Gold miners in Sudan's Northern State say that they have been physically beaten, and suffered huge financial losses at the hands of vandals. They suspect 'influential parties' to be behind the attacks.

Dozens of gold miners have been subjected to beating, burning, and vandalism of their property by a party they did not name. Their work has been stopped as the vandals have buried gold production shafts.

One of the miners named Omar Muhyeldin told a news conference in Khartoum that "the miners were surprised by a large force from outside the state who beat them, destroyed their property, burned their residences, destroyed wells, and equipment worth billions".

He explained that about 150-200 gold producing shafts have been destroyed, and that the cost of a shaft is more than SDG 25 million (*$1.4 million).

Corruption

The gold industry in Sudan is affected by country's legal and institutional framework, "bureaucratic and political corruption, including embezzlement, cronyism and patronage," according to an analysis released in November 2017 compiled by Elfadil Elsharief Elhashmi for the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG).

The report The Politics of Mining and Trading of Gold in Sudan: Challenges of Corruption and Lack of Transparency is part of SDFG's series of publications on corruption and lack of transparency.

"The report highlights a long overdue need for a concerted, dynamic and interdisciplinary approach to issues and challenges facing the organized industrial and the artisanal gold sectors in Sudan. For such a holistic approach to be sustainable, there must be rule of law and democracy. Where there is rule of law and democracy, transparency, effective governance, social justice and environmental justice can follow, ensuring that all stakeholders are engaged in defining and implementing important policies in the mining sector," reads the preamble.

"The artisanal gold sector employs more than one million poverty-driven miners emerging from an army of uneducated, unemployed, under-privileged men and women from both the periphery and the centre. They are the product of marginalization which is itself a product of a century-old inequitable distribution of national wealth and political power."

* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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