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Manaseer groups mobilise against visit of Sudanese president

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February 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – A group of youths from the Manaseer area, 350km north of the capital Khartoum, have threatened to thwart a planned visit by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir scheduled for next month.

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Chinese workers stand in front of the Merowe Dam, a controversial Nile River project 220 miles north of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan (AFP)

The group took to social networking sites to mobilise against Bashir’s visit to the region, with a number of Manaseer elders warning against receiving the president and called for boycotting the visit.

They justified the campaign by what they called the government’s backtracking on earlier pledges to establish six resettlement projects that were agreed upon in 2006 between the Executive Committee that represented those impacted by the Chinese-built Merowe dam and Nahr al-Neel state government.

They also mentioned the non-implementation of health, education , electricity, water and road projects in the region.

The group expressed their rejection of the state government’s attempt to market alternatives to what was agreed upon previously on resettlement projects .

The state governor Lt. Gen. Hadi Abdullah said on Saturday that the issue of compensation to those displaced by the dam will be put to rest with the inauguration of a number of development projects, services, facilities and new houses during Bashir’s visit.

The construction of Merowe dam on the fourth cataract of the River Nile has displaced more than 100,000 people belonging to the three riverian communities of Al Hamdab, Amri and al-Manaseer.

There have been several clashes between the villagers and Sudanese police over the past few years.

(ST)

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