Demonstrations against toxic gold mining in Talodi, South Kordofan

Sudanese villagers battle to save environment from gold miners

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Protesters angered by environmental damage in the Nuba mountains caused by chemicals used to extract metal.

Militia-backed gold mining companies that have operated unregulated in Sudan’s conflict zones are facing a battle with local residents angered by the environmental damage caused by chemicals used to extract the gold.

For three weeks, residents of Talodi and Kalogi in the Nuba mountains, the heart of one of Sudan’s most violent conflicts, have held protests demanding gold mines in the area are closed.

Since 5 September, locals have been holding a sit-in outside a gold-mining factory they demand is closed because of its use of cyanide as a crude method of extracting gold.

The protest was backed by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which became an organising force in nationwide protests that toppled three-decade ruler Omar al-Bashir earlier this year.

“Local citizens have been struggling for three years against the use of this deadly material,” the SPA said in a statement announcing the strike.

The local resistance committee, part of a nationwide network of activist groups, then announced a civil disobedience campaign on 9 September.

 

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