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One person killed in Khartoum demonstrations protesting water outage

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June 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – One person was killed on Sunday as a result of suffocation after the Sudanese riot police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the southern neighbourhoods of Khartoum who demonstrated against continuous interruptions in water service.

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The neighbourhoods of al-Salma, al-Azhari, Ad al-Hussein and Kababich witnessed all day Sunday protests and a local official told Sudan Tribune that several people were arrested but released later after the intervention of the mayor.

A member of the Popular Committee announced that the mayor of Jabal Awliya promised to resolve the water crisis in three days, and reported that the engineers working to repair faults told them that their region is fuelled by Soba station at about 40% of water consumption which requires drilling of a well in every two blocks to cover the remaining 60%.

The press office of the Khartoum police said in a statement released on Sunday evening that a "number of citizens in Mayo area south of Khartoum assembled to protest the interruption of drinking water in the region and shut down the main street which lead to the intervention of the police to disperse the gathering and re-open the street. One citizen has suffocated and later died in hospital".

The statement appealed to the citizens to express their grievances in peaceful manner that does not cause harm and inconvenience to other people or hamper their daily activities.

Last Monday, police also used tear gas and batons to disperse protests in the suburbs of al-Rumaila and Allambab in south Khartoum to express their rejection against the state government’s intention to sell one of the public squares. It was also preceded by protests in the neighbourhood of al-Shajara on the scarcity of water.

The Director of the General Department of Water Resources Authority, Ahmed Hassan Osman told the pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website that they formed a joint operation from water and electricity and departments to find alternate lines and hotlines in case of power outages from the main stations, pointing to the provision of generators for all large water wells to work during outages.

The director of the Khartoum locality water department Khidir al-Tom said that winds which occurred in the past two days has affected some stations, stressing that they addressed water shortages in the areas of al-Sahafa, Arkaweet, al-Shajara and Allambab.

(ST)

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