Sunday 18 September 2011
Merowe dam Technical Consultant, Lahmeyer, under investigations
September 17, 2011 (LONDON) ï¿½ Lahmeyer Int, the German consultant is
under investigations with regard to its involvement in Merowe dam
project in Sudan. The Frankfurt Prosecutor Office will investigate the
company involvement, according to Taz, a leading German newspaper.
Merowe dam project, also known as Hamdab dam, is a hydroelectric
project on the River Nile Fourth cataracts. The project was financed
by different Arab funders and Chinese. It was completed in 2010 and
has caused the displacement of more than 100,000 individual from three
riverian communities, hamdab, Amri and the Manasir.
The matter arose last year from a criminal complaint presented by the
European Center of Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). The
attorneys Wolfgang Kaleck and Miriam Saage-Maaï¿½ accuse the Corporation
Lahmeyer of coercion and damage of property, inter alia. The
Corporation, based in Bad Vilbel (Germany), is believed to have
violated the right to property, the right to food and the right to
Ethnologists of the University of Bayreuth, who carried out research
in the area of the Manasir people in northern Sudan and was present
during the flooding, confirmed the accusations. "When the Nil broke
its banks by the end of July 2008 and reached the first village, the
farmers were astounded and shocked." says Valerie Hï¿½nsch, who is doing
a doctorate on the relocation of the Manasir people.
According to Frankfurt Prosecutorï¿½s Office/Main, Lahmeyer is supposed
to submit a statement by autumn. After this, the ethnologist Hï¿½sch
will be interrogated as a witness.
Ali Askouri, the Chairman of the Council of Merowe Dam Affected People
said "we have exerted tireless efforts over the last four years to get
to this point. We have overcome lengthy, complicated, tedious legal
and other innumerable procedures. We exerted tremendous efforts to
ensure that the role of this company in the destruction of our
community is investigated. We will continue this until justice is done".
Lahmeyer Int. was debarred by the World Bank in 2004 for seven years
after it was indicted and convicted by South African court in 2004
when found guilty of corruption in Lesotho Highlands Water Development
According to Taz, preliminary proceedings like this are rare in
Germany, because German public prosecutors and prosecution services do
not want to assume responsibility for the behavior of domestic
corporations abroad. The judiciary in other states too often allows
corporations from the rich north to do whatever they want to.
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