Sudan Minister Intervenes Year-Long Mining Blockade

Telkok / Hamashkoreib — Protesters in the Telkok and Hamashkoreib…

Telkok / Hamashkoreib — Protesters in the Telkok and Hamashkoreib locality in Kassala have continued their blockade of the markets around mining areas for more than a year now, demanding environmental regulations and that the mining revenues be invested into the local economy. Sudan’s Minister of Minerals Mohamed Bashir Abunamu, alongside Kassala’s Governor Khojali Hamed, attended a meeting with miners, civil stakeholders, and community leaders on October 22, in an effort to mediate and resolve the impasse.

Community leader for the Telkok locality Sheikh Suleiman, promised that mining would resume once residents of the region were granted the right to manage local mining under the supervision of the government. They also demanded that more people from within the mining area’s localities be employed, while accepting the appointment of external technicians in specialisations that are not available among them, if necessary.

Betai added, “We are not in a rush to resume mining, and we will give the minister the time he requires to respond to our demands.” He said, “But we will not allow our resources to be tampered with. We want peace and we are not fomenting strife.”

Attendees proposed the formation of a committee of residents local to the mining areas of Telkok and Hamashkoreib to supervise the disbursement of social investment funds. The proposal received the approval of the minister and the state governor.

Ministerial promises

During his visits, the mineral minister reportedly attempted to appease all parties in order to maintain security in the mining areas, to ensure continuity of production, and avoid inter-communal conflict.