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Sudanese army seizes water research centre, expel workers


Aerial view of the Sudanese capital Khartoum (Getty Images/Robert Caputo)
April 7 2020 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese army force seized a research centre of the Ministry of Irrigation outside Khartoum and prevented its staff members from having access to the unit without explanation or informing the government of the move.

In a statement released on Monday, Abdel Rahman Seghiroun the Director of the General Administration Centre for Studies and Data Systems said the force occupied the building last January but allowed them to continue to perform their duties without a problem.

"However, on March 23, the force took full control of the centre (located in Soba suburb in southern Khartoum) and prevented the workers from entering and performing their work," he added.

The seizure of the Centre is an unprecedented development by the military of a civilian administration," he stressed pointing that it is affiliated to the irrigation ministry.

Last January, the force commander said they have been ordered by the Sovereign Council to occupy the centre.

The centre includes units of studies and design, development and protection of hydrological data systems,

It is tasked with the overseeing studies of agricultural projects accompanying the dam projects, managing and protecting the data of major schemes of irrigation, water harvesting and drinking water. The centre is also charged with the data of existing and future dams, in addition to implementing the water monitoring development project.

The Sudanese official said that the irrigation ministry has remained silent during the past three months while seeking to resolve the issue with the concerned authorities.

"The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas tried to solve the problem by contacting the concerned authorities in the Cabinet (defence minister) to find out the motivations, but the problem has exacerbated by preventing workers from exercising their duties," he added.

The minister expressed hope that the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers would resolve the matter as soon as possible.

During a recent joint meeting, the Forces for Freedom and Change blamed the prime minister for his inertia towards addressing such issues with the army.


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  • 7 April 11:31, by Fathi

    I suspect Egyptian involvement.

  • 7 April 11:46, by Fathi

    If Hamdok isn’t able to handle this within the sovereign council expeditiously, including scolding these military thugs through the legal system, he should mobilize the streets before the military escalates their antics. I understand he would rather work with the military rather than stand-up to their foolishness, but there are times where he must hold his ground so they don’t continue to take adv

    • 7 April 11:56, by Fathi

      FFC’s public criticism of Hamdok annoys me. They’re are most at fault. Given the weak civilian power for oversight of the military provided by the constitutional declaration, and Hamdok’s gentle temperament, they should’ve appointed someone more politically skilled and assertive.

      • 7 April 12:00, by Fathi

        Also, why are they appointing technocrats if the FFC unwilling to allow them to make the necessary economic reforms? If they want to challenge civilian administration on political points, that’s fine. However, when it comes to the economy, they must step out of the way.

        • 7 April 12:05, by Fathi

          Don’t get me wrong, I think Hamdok can still succeed, but he must find a more balanced approach. He can’t make everyone happy.
          He must be more assertive.

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