East Samt — A march was held yesterday to demand that a mining company set up near the village of East Samt in in Northern State close down.
Activist Ashraf Abdelwadoud told Radio Dabanga that the march began in Samt, East Samt, Kabdi, and the neighbouring villages, then headed towards the company's headquarters in the area between the El Sarie and East Samt.
The residents gave the company 24 hours to leave.
Ashraf said the residents of Samt were surprised that the Hamid mining company is preparing to operate east of Samt, near populated areas. The company would be using mercury and cyanide to extract gold from the ore.
The residents of the neighbouring villages held a meeting on Monday during which they decided to act immediately to stop this company and to protect people and the environment from pollution.
Activists from the areas of Talodi, Kalogi, and El Leri in South Kordofan carried out a protest in front of the government headquarters in Khartoum on Tuesday to demand the suspension of mining companies operating in their region.
South Kordofan's wali (governor) ordered all mining companies to stop operating in the state last week, but many companies don't abide.
Participants in the vigil presented a memorandum to the cabinet demanding the removal of mining companies from South Kordofan. They held banners condemning the use of cyanide in mining in South Kordofan and pictures of victims of the use of cyanide.
They chanted slogans calling for halting El Sunut, Junaid, Abarsi, and international mining companies, and pointed to the harmful effects of mining on humans, animals and the environment.
The director of exploration of the Sudanese Mining Resources Company, Naji Abdallah Mahmoud, claimed during a workshop on mining that there are 424 mining companies in Sudan that belong to members of the ousted Al Bashir regime.
He said that 48 foreign companies operate in the sector, including Russian, Turkish and Chinese. He cited investment constraints as to why there were influential former regime brokers.
Naji Abdallah Mahmoud also claimed that certain security services finance themselves in the mining sector.
He asserts that geologists were prevented from entering the copper pit of his company unless they get permission from Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' personally. Hemeti is not only a member of the ruling Sovereign Council, but also commander of the Rapid Support Forces militia that supported the ousted Al Bashir regime.
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