Breaking News
Egyptian riot police clash with Nubian protesters Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egyptian riot police clash with Nubian protesters

FIle Photo: Nubians have long complained of marginalisation by the state [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
A new law denies the minority group the right to return to their ancestral homeland, raising tensions and sparking violence.

Egyptian security forces clashed with Nubian protesters on Thursday near the far southern city of Aswan, after they demanded the release of detainees from their village.

Police opened fire on the crowd and arrested several protesters from the village of Gharb Sohail, south of Aswan, which is inhabited by Egypt's Nubian minority group.

The violence erupted after police arrested two tuk-tuk drivers following a dispute over them being stopped.

"Villagers came out en masse to demand that police release the drivers. The riot police fired live rounds at the protesters to break them up and set up a checkpoint on the road leading to the village," local Abdel Qadir told The New Arab.

"They arrested some of the protesters, who have been referred to a military prosecutor," Abdel Qadir added.

Relations between Nubians and the government have been tense since parliament recently passed a bill that denies the group the right to return to their ancestral lands on the Nile banks.

   Monday's protest at Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan [Facebook]

In the 1960s, the Nubians were forced to leave their homeland in the south of Egypt to make way for the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

The government resettled them in desert compounds, as their ancient territories were mostly flooded by Lake Nasser.

On Monday, hundreds of Nubians held a protest against parliament's decree, which allocates land along border areas as military-controlled "no man's land".

"We will hold protests outside Egyptian embassies around the free world and perform our traditional music and dance to demand our legal and legitimate right to return to land and protect our culture from extinction," the Nubian rights group Aidun ["Returning"] said in a statement.

Egypt's 2014 constitution states the government must resettle the Nubians to their ancestral lands within ten years.

Nubians have long complained of marginalisation by the state and racism because of their dark complexion.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More