August 5, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Mauritanian government has decided not to impose financial penalties on Sudanese miners who were arrested while illegally prospecting for gold in its territories, said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry.
- Workers break rocks at the Wad Bushara gold mine near Abu Delelq in Gadarif State, Wad Bushara on 27 April 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Gharib Allah Khidir said the Sudanese ambassador to Nouakchott has discussed the issue of the Sudanese gold prospectors with the Mauritanian minister of interior, saying the latter decided not to impose a fine on them.
He told the official news agency (SUNA) that the Mauritanian government has handed the miners their travel documents back and asked them not to conduct surface mining unless approved by the competent authorities.
Khidir said the Mauritanian government has mentioned that surface mining is a prohibited practice according to the regulations, saying those who violate the law would incur a daily fine that could exceed $90.
He added the Mauritanian law also provides for the detention of those who practice surface mining and to seize their passports, saying the authorities usually hand them their travel documents back upon deportation.
According to Khidir, the Sudanese ambassador to Nouakchott said the Mauritanian minister of interior assured him that there are no Sudanese nationals in their prisons.
The spokesperson called on those who wish to visit Mauritania to observe laws pertaining to the surface mining, saying Mauritania welcomes Sudanese to work and invest in any other field.
Last Monday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said Mauritania would deport 100 Sudanese miners who had sneaked into its territory illegally.
In 2014, hundreds of Sudanese gold prospectors were evacuated from Niger to the Chadian city of Abeche before being transferred to the West Darfur state capital, Al-Geneina.
Also, in August 2015, Egyptian authorities released 37 miners after being held for 5 five months on charges of cross-border infiltration. But their properties estimated at $8 million are still held by the Egyptian Army.