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Sudanese gold miners to request al-Bashir’s help on seized items in Egypt

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October 2, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese miners said they would submit a memo to President Omer al-Bashir demanding him to deal with the issue of their confiscated items and property as a priority during his upcoming talks with the Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi.

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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)

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 eight million dollars are still held by the Egyptian Army.

Suleiman Ahmed Markaz, the head of the committee of the Sudanese miners told Sudan Tribune that members of his committee on will head to the presidential palace in Khartoum to hand over a memo to al-Bashir.

According to the memo seen by Sudan Tribune on Sunday, the miners demanded al-Bashir to deal with their issue as a top priority during his meeting with al-Sisi which will take place from 5 to 6 October in Cairo.

The memo pointed to the extreme suffering of the miners, saying some of them have been jailed due to failure to pay installments of the cars and gold scanning machines that were seized by the Egyptian authorities.

It added that the miners are counting on al-Bashir’s meeting with al-Sisi and believe it resolve their problem.

The Sudanese miners were released after an amnesty issued by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in response to Sudan’s decision to pardon 101 Egyptian fishermen detained by Sudanese authorities since April 2015, on charges of crossing the territorial waters.

Although Khartoum has released the Egyptian fishermen with their boats, Egypt still holds the properties of the Sudanese miners for more than 10 months.

During Sudanese Egyptian consultative and consular meetings in Khartoum on February 28, the Egyptian delegation has committed to release the properties of the Sudanese miners but the pledges have not been fulfilled.

Earlier in June, the Sudanese foreign ministry said it would seek the support of the defence ministry to secure the release of the traditional miners properties held by the Egyptian army.

(ST)

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