October 17, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Niger authorities have evacuated forty eight Sudanese to the Chadian city of Abeche for illegally prospecting for gold in its territories, said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry.
- Ethiopian gold miniers (Photo Ethiopian Ministry of Mining)
Last July, media reports in Khartoum said that Niger has arrested 1000 Sudanese miners and confiscated their property for entering the country illegally.
On Monday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m has discussed with the Consul-General of the Niger embassy in Khartoum Oagda Garba the conditions of the Sudanese miners in Niger.
During the meeting, Garba strongly denied targeting of Sudanese nationals in Niger, vowing to follow up on the issue and coordinate with the Sudanese authorities to overcome problems that may arise in this regard.
Last August, Mauritania deported 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.
Gold has become one of Sudan’s largest exports which partially compensated for the loss in oil revenues, which accounted for more than 50% of income until 2011 when South Sudan seceded, thus taking with it most of the country’s oil reserves.
Sudan approved a law to regulate traditional mining by granting licenses and specifying areas to work in to protect them from hazardous conditions and smuggling.
It is believed that traditional mining employs more than a million Sudanese but it is still difficult to obtain credible data.