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Egypt delays release of Sudanese miners’ properties : FM

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June 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM). Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs on Monday accused the Egyptian government of delaying the release of items and properties of Sudanese miners seized by the Egyptian army a year ago.

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 "8" million dollars are still held by the Egyptian Army.

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.

In response to an urgent quiz by the Member of Parliament, Ali Awad on Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Ghandour, told Parliament, that Egyptian officials did not meet their promises to release the belongings of Sudanese traditional miners.

“During the African- Chinese Summit, the Egyptian Prime Minister has promised the first Vice President Bakri Hassan Salih to release the properties of the Sudanese miners,” Ghandour told the lawmakers.

The Sudanese top diplomat said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to solve the problem when Sudan pardoned the Egyptian fishermen and Egypt responded by releasing the Sudanese traditional miners.

Ghandour stressed that the issue of miners’ properties has been included in the agenda of Sudanese Egyptian consultative and consular meetings.

He further said that the foreign ministry has sent several memorandums to the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum and other notes have been submitted via the Sudanese embassy in Cairo.

The minister further confirmed that his Egyptian counterpart had promised to solve the issue but he didn’t.

“The Egyptian Foreign Affairs minister told me the properties are held by the Egyptian army and he promised to negotiate with the Egyptian defence minister to release it as soon as possible,” Ghandour said.

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.

Ghandour noted that 107 Sudanese miners have been detained by the Egyptian authorities during the period 2010- 2015 and they were released when Sudan pardoned 101 Egyptian fishermen in 2015.

The Sudanese traditional miners properties held by the Egyptian army include 350 vehicles, gold detectors and unknown amounts of gold.

(ST)

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