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One person killed by police over land dispute in Khartoum

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police stands outside the courthouse in Khartoum 2007
July 23, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - One person was killed in confrontations over the sale of a land to a foreign investor between police and residents of Um Kati area, some 70 kilometres north of Khartoum.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that a heavily armed police force arrived in Um Kati to hand over 7,000 feddans of farmland to a Gulf investor.

They pointed out that the villagers refused to hand over the land, saying the police used tear gas to disperse the protesters as they stoned them.

According to the eyewitnesses, a police vehicle ran over a resident by the name of Al-Sir Hamid Al-Tayeb Abu Raida killing him instantly.

They added the situation in the area is very tense, saying the protesters vowed to take revenge if the police return to the village to seize the land.

It is noteworthy that the government decided to seize 97,000 feddans of land which residents of Um Kati claim its ownership. The government later sold 7,000 feddans to a Gulf investor.

According to reliable sources, the residents rejected a settlement reached to divide the agricultural land between the government of Khartoum state and the villagers.

The inhabitants of the capital accuse the state governments since under the regime of president Omer al-Bashir of selling agricultural lands to Gulf investors and influential members of the ruling party.

In 2013, hundreds of Om Doum residents staged demonstrations, blockading the main street and setting tires on fire to express fury against what they say are government plans to give away part of their lands to a Saudi investor. A teenager named Mohamed Abdel-Bagi was killed in the aftermath.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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