15 January 2019

Sudan: Northern State Anti-Mining Protest Planned for This Weekend

Abri — An environmental protection committee in Sudan's Northern State announced it will hold a peaceful protest to reject the gold mining activities in the region on Saturday.

The six-party Environmental Protection Committee in Abri announced the protest will be held in Sawadra, in front of the International Mining Company office.

Wael Hasan, a spokesman for the committee, told Radio Dabanga that they reject the activities of the company and want to protect the environment of the region from the "damaging and toxic remnants of mining operations".

Hasan appealed to all residents to stand with them. The mining area includes more than 2,000 miners according to the spokesman.

In January 2018, education authorities closed the Sawadra complex school north of Abri in Sudan's Northern State in response to a spread of cases of coughing, vomiting and shortness of breath among students in the boarding houses.

The environmental committee then attributed the situation of the poor environmental and health conditions in the area to the activities of the International Company for Mining. Wasan: "... is spreading the mining waste and dust in the air of the area."

In the past weeks, activists started demonstrations in Abri against the regime of President Omar Al Bashir. On January 9, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained a number of activists in Abri because of these demonstrations.

Anti-mining

Protests against gold extraction plants in several parts of Sudan increased over recent years. In particular in 2017, people took to the streets in Northern State, North Kordofan, and North Darfur in fear for their health.

In May 2018, a report published by the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) as part of its Sudan Transparency Initiative entitled Cyanide Plants in South Kordofan State: Human Life is a Price for Gold Extraction, highlights the human and environmental costs of the use of cyanide.

Sudan

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