Altaghyeer: Khartoum

The return of hundreds of Sudanese miners continued from Cori mine in Tibesti state, Chad as they were asked by Ndjamena to immediately evacuate the area.

Thousands of Sudanese and other nationals search for gold at the mine which became a major source of income for residents of Darfur region.

Tens were killed or wounded, including Sudanese citizens, last month in fighting between Chadian forces and rebels at the mine. The incident prompted security chief in Chad to issue a warning last August giving all miners 24 hours to evacuate the area as threatened a crackdown on offenders. And he said in a televised statement aired on the national outlet that “the decision is incontestable”.

One of the returning miners told Altaghyeer on Wednesday that “fearing the government’s threats most miners evacuated the area, some fled to Libya, some entered Niger and some came back to Sudan via Altena town in North Darfur”. He indicated that the mine served as a lifeline to many Sudanese especially in Darfur as it was the only source of income amid the lack of employment opportunities.

Pointing out the absence of formal figures for the number of Sudanese at the mine, the source said that a rough estimation would put the number at 50 thousand in the area of the Chadian mine and at other mines in Niger.