Sudan to Cancel Controversial Nile Dams After Years of Resistance

Dongola / Kajbar — Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok announced the cancellation of the Dal and Kajbar dam projects yesterday. This decision was made public in his address at an event organised by the Anti-Kajbar Dam Committee in front of the Kajbar Martyrs memorial in the Kidendekar area during his visit to the Northern State.

The Prime Minister affirmed that all major projects on the Nile must first be subjected to economic, social, and environmental assessments and that the local communities should participate in the decision-making and benefit from the project revenues.

The Prime Minister also said that the regions in the north of Sudan have suffered from marginalisation, like the rest of Sudan, and the time has come to fairly allow them their share in development.

The dam proposals were highly controversial and sparked many protests over the past years. In the Northern track of the Juba Peace Agreement, the formation of a committee to study the request to cancel the construction of the Dal, Kajbar, and El Shireig Dams was included.

The people living in the areas where the Dal and Kajbar dam would be constructed welcomed the decision. They stressed that it would be a victory for the people. Representatives of the local inhabitants and protest committees called for justice for the martyrs of the area.

The Martyrs of the Kajbar Dam are the victims of events that took place on June 13, 2007, during a peaceful march organised by the Nubian local inhabitants in protest against the construction of the Kajbar Dam. When the authorities cracked down on the protest with live ammunition, several people were injured and 4 young men lost their lives.

Hamdok indicated that the investigation file into the events of the Kajbar martyrs has been completed and is on its way to justice.

The Investigation Committee for the Martyrs of the Kajbar Dam commenced its work on March 5, 2021, in the Kajbar area with the exhumation and re-autopsy of three bodies in the presence of forensic consultants.

Last year, 26 Nubian protest groups handed a memorandum to the Secretary of the Northern State government to demand that the construction of the Kajbar and Dal dams be stopped, gold mining companies that use cyanide and mercury be removed, and that two per cent of the revenues from the Merowe Dam will be allocated to the development of agriculture in Northern State.

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