A human rights official for the United Nations (UN) has issued a call for the suspension of construction of two dams in Sudan - Merowe and Kajbar - due to eviction and resettlement problems, he claims.

As the UN special rapporteur for adequate housing in the area, Miloon Kothari said he had received many reports of violations of civil and political rights in regard to protests over the projects. The dams are being built in the northern Nile Valley.

In a statement, Kothari said he was “deeply concerned” over the reports claiming regarding large-scale forced evictions.

He said construction of the dams should be suspended pending an independent investigation on the projects’ impacts on local populations can be carried out. He added that the Sudanese government should allow UN human rights monitors into the region to assist with evaluating the claims.

As a special rapporteur, Kothari is an independent expert charged with reporting to the UN Human Rights Council.