Can’t get enough of depressing Sudan news? Here’s more: The proposed construction of two or three new hydroelectric dams along the Nile River is causing unrest in the northern region of Sudan, which has already had civil war in its south, east, and west. Many fear that demonstrations will give way to widespread violence in the territory of Nubia, especially after a June altercation when government soldiers opened fire on Nubian demonstrators. If built, the proposed dams could force hundreds of thousands of Nubians to relocate, and diverted waters could deluge a 50-foot, 3,500-year-old mud-brick temple that is the oldest known manmade structure in sub-Saharan Africa. While the Sudanese government claims that the dams will boost the Nubian economy by providing electricity and irrigation, Nubians see the dams as a plot by Arab governments to eradicate their culture and seize their land, and are appealing to human-rights organizations to intervene.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.