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Egypt’s Nubians protest for right to return to their lands

Nubians in southern Egypt have staged demonstrations and roadblocks in recent days, protesting a government takeover of what they claim to be part of their ancestral homeland.
Nubian women sell traditional handicrafts at the Nubian Gharb Suheil village, near Aswan south of Egypt, October 1, 2015.  For half a century, Egypt's Nubians have patiently lobbied the government in Cairo for a return to their homelands on the banks of the upper Nile, desperate to reclaim territory their ancestors first cultivated 3,000 years ago.  Picture taken October 1, 2015.   REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS7J7U
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CAIRO — “The revolution might gush out of the south, just like the Nile does.” With this slogan, Nubians raised their voices once again in protest of the Egyptian administration's putting part of their lands up for sale to investors. This prompted them to demand their right of return and repatriation to their homeland from which they were displaced when the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s.

The crisis was renewed when many Nubians protested as part of the so-called Nubian Return Caravan, in an attempt to reach the Nubian Toshka and Forkund villages to protest the sale of their lands as part of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s national development project to reclaim 1.5 million feddans (2,432 square miles). On Nov. 19, the security forces obstructed the caravan’s arrival. Consequently, the protesters staged a sit-in on the road leading to the disputed land.

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