Egyptian Army Still Holds Sudanese Miners’ Properties Worth 8 million Dollars

Workers break rocks at the Wad Bushara gold mine near Abu Delelq in Gadarif State, Wad Bushara April 27, 2013. Sudan exported $2.2 billion worth of gold last year and hopes to produce around 50 tonnes of gold in 2013, which would potentially make it Africa's third-largest gold miner and push it into the top 15 producers globally. The Wad Bushara gold mine has about 2,000 workers who earn an average of $15 a day. Picture taken April 27. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah (SUDAN - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT COMMODITIES)

Sudan Tribune, an independent Sudanese online newspaper, reported that Sudan Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour accused the Egyptian government of delaying the release of items and properties of Sudanese miners seized by the Egyptian army a year ago.

Their properties estimated at 8 million dollars are still held by the Egyptian Army.

In August 2015, Egyptian authorities released 37 miners after being held for five months on charges of cross-border infiltration.

The Sudanese miners were released after a presidential amnesty issued by the 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 this context, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Ghandour told the Sudanese Parliament that Egyptian officials did not meet their promises to release the belongings of Sudanese traditional miners.

Ghandour’s statement came in response to an urgent question raised by the Member of Parliament, Ali Awad on Monday.

Ghandour told the lawmakers that Sudan has issued the case with the Egyptian part in various occasions saying, “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.”

He also added that 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.

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

Moreover, he explained that Sudan has followed different channels to solve the problem. 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, according to FM Ghandour.

However, the FM further confirmed that his Egyptian counterpart FM Sameh Shoukry had promised to solve the issue but he didn’t.

Ghandour said, “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.”

Earlier in June, the Sudanese foreign ministry said it would seek the support of the defence ministry in order to secure the release of the traditional miners properties held by the Egyptian army.

Ghandour pointed 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, reported Sudan Tribune.