Demonstrators protest government sale of Nubian land

Tens of Nubian protesters blocked traffic on Qasr al-Aini Street on Thursday afternoon, demanding a halt to the auctioning off of land that they claim is ancient Nubian property by the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Authority of Rehabilitation Projects.

The protesters demanded that President Mohamed Morsy issue a decree that would allow them to return to their ancestral lands that were claimed by the state for building the High Dam of Aswan under late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In addition, protesters demanded that an official body be established to oversee the administration of the Nubian lands and that an independent governorate of Nubia be established.

The demonstrators carried banners that stated their demands, including, “We demand you stop selling our land,” “Auctioning Nubian lands is ethnic cleansing,” “You can’t obliterate our identities,” and “The return of the Nubians is an inherent right.”

The Ministry of Agriculture decided to auction off the lands to private investors. Mohamed Reda Ismail, the minister of agriculture and land reclamation, said in a press release that 5,400 acres of the land would be preserved and allocated for the Nubian people.

Ismail added that the government had already decided not to auction off Nubian land located to the south of High Dam based, and claimed that development projects in the area were intended to benefit the people of Nubia.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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