June 30, 2013, (KHARTOUM) - At least 12 people were arrested and dozens others were injured when police forces using tear gas rushed to disperse protesters in the town of Dalgo of Mahas area in the far north of Sudan.
- Police stand in front of some 100 protesters from the nomadic Arab Misseriya tribe during a demonstration in Khartoum on 28 November 2012 (Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)
Dozens of Dalgo residents have demonstrated against the living conditions and deteriorating basic services including electricity.
An eyewitness said that security forces have also arrested the 62 years old member of the committee against the building of the Kajbar dam Osman Ibrahim Osman from his home.
The protests began on Friday night when dozens of people flocked to downtown Dalgo and chanted anti-government slogans while surrounding the security forces building to demand the release of the detained activists.
As popular discontent mounts in the town which lacks basic infrastructure, security forces stormed the houses of activists opposing construction of Kajbar dam who orchestrated the protests and detained 12 people in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The residents of Dalgo who live on subsistence economy which is based on agriculture and mainly growing palm trees have suffered from high commodity and fuel prices as well as the lack of electricity.
The waters of the government proposed Kajbar dam is expected to inundate 30 villages as well as farmlands and rare monuments.
The local residents are accusing the government of not seeking to solve the electricity problem in order to pressure them to accept the construction of Kajbar dam.
“The tragedy of Aboud would not be repeated again”, they chanted
They were referring to Sudan’s ex-president Ibrahim Aboud who approved the construction of Aswan high dam in 1964 which led to the displacement of the Nubian residents of Wadi Halfa to eastern Sudan.
The Chinese-financed project has provoked strong opposition from the residents of the region and in 2007 police clashed with protestors killing four people.
Pictures of the injured protesters and names of the detainees were posted on the Facebook by the anti-government radio Kadantakar.
A leading figure in the protest movement predicted outbreak of violent clashes between protesters and authorities, saying that the situation is getting worse.
Protesters from towns of Fareeg, Spogdi, and Meshkela which are threatened by the construction of Kajbar dam have joined the demonstrations.
Police reinforcements were sent from the town of Wadi Halfa in anticipation of widespread protests.
The deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (PCP) has accused a leftist cell of inciting the residents to oppose the construction of Kajbar dam in coordination with the opposition in Khartoum.