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South Sudan dragged to East African court over Naam river dredging project

Posted on June 15, 2022

South Sudan government has been dragged to the East African Court of Justice by a law-practicing citizen over the ongoing government project to dredge the Naam River, according to a documents extended to Sudans Post.

Last week, the ministry of water resources and irrigation announced the arrival of a 21-truck convoy from Egypt via Sudan carrying heavy dredging machines, sparking mixed reactions among the citizens.

Though the presidency continue to deny that it has clue over the machines and the project, the ministry of water resources and irrigation maintains that the agreement on the dredging project was reached between the government of Egypt and South Sudan during a meeting in Cairo last year.

Elario Adam Cholong, a Juba-based lawyer, logged a complaint against the government saying the “project is environmentally untenable and it will traverse protected area in East Africa, with undue regard to livelihoods, gender, food, children and public health of the East Africans.”

He argues that “the area through which the dredging project shall pass is comprised of several settlements, farmlands and water sources for thousands of indigenous persons and there has been no regard to their rights.”

He added that “the Egyptian dredging project will traverse many legally protected forest reserves and several rivers and lakes that water sources for thousands of people, animals and wildlife habitats.”

“The Applicants have a prime facie case as the people where the Egyptian dredging project is designed and environment will suffer irreparable damage if the application is not granted since the main reference raises issues of affecting livelihoods and the environment including: permanent loss of habitats, stress and mortality to flora and fauna, loss of primary productivity in watercourses, loss of ecological function among others.

“In addition, it is the Role of East Africa Court of Justice in balancing its interpretative jurisdiction against the needs of ensuring that Partner States are not unduly hindered in their development programs.”

Adam said South Sudanese “shall suffer substantial and irreparable loss and damages to the environment; wiping out of protected animals’ species and forest reserves, damaging the ecosystem and loss of livelihoods if the Respondents by themselves, employee and/or agents and their servants and/or employees are not stopped from dredging the River Nile.”

He said that the government of South Sudan has “already received the dredging machine from the Egyptian government and the suit will be rendered nugatory if a temporary injunction is not issued restraining the said project.”


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