An armed group belonging to Misseriya tribe opened fire on workers in a Chinese oil field in South Kordofan’s Balila area on Wednesday.
The incident left a Chinese engineer dead and three other workers injured who were employed in block six of South Kordofan’s oil fields. Work has stopped in the block since Thursday.
The shooting is being viewed as a protest by the local population for losing out on employment opportunities in the oil fields. A witness in the area told Radio Dabanga that two days prior to the shooting, the group burned down trucks, two cars and a drilling machine in Firdaus.
“A Chinese delegate visited the area on Thursday and assembled all the laborers in a safer place. They have also decided to halt all oil excavation work,” a youngster said, while describing the situation on the ground as dangerous and potentially explosive.
Meanwhile, another youth from the region demanded the government to reverse its policy to deny employment opportunities to local residents in the oil fields. “The oil fields, though in the south, are bringing employment opportunities to the people in the north. Thousands of graduates in the region are unemployed. This just brings us back to the circle of injustice,” he said.