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Cautious calm in Port Sudan following clashes

August 14 - 2020 PORT SUDAN / KHARTOUM
Red Sea state authorities welcome arrival of RSF force on August 13, 2020 (Social media)
Red Sea state authorities welcome arrival of RSF force on August 13, 2020 (Social media)

Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, witnessed calm after joint military forces strengthened their presence in districts where violent clashes that have beset the city this month.

More than a hundred Rapid Support Forces vehicles arrived in the city yesterday. This force will strengthen the existing forces in the state, and joint military forces and members of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police (Abu Tira) which arrived on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs said 85 people accused of involvement in the violent incidents were arrested.

Since August 9, strife has erupted in Port Sudan between eastern Sudanese people and people of Nuba tribes living in the city, following a significant period of eruptions of violence throughout the region.

[Protest sign Khartoum]
Activists from Port Sudan hold vigil in Khartoum on August 13. Sign reads:
"Resistance Committees of Port Sudan #SudaneseBloodIsOne"
(Social media)


Members of Port Sudan Resistance Committees organised a protest vigil in front of the Council of Ministers in Khartoum, to denounce the Red Sea state's negligence in dealing with the violence in Port Sudan, which has killed or injured about 150 people.

The participants in the vigil called for an end to bloodshed in Port Sudan, an investigation into the events, holding “the racists” involved accountable, and denouncing the government's disregard of what is happening in Port Sudan.

They handed a memorandum to the Cabinet calling for urgent state intervention, ensuring that security is one of the prerogatives of the state.

The results of previous investigations into previous Port Sudan tribal fighting have also been requested for public review. The protestors rejected temporary solutions, calling for activation of a law on cybercrime and preserving civilian lives.

Ministers convene

On Wednesday, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Lt Gen El Tereifi Idris, briefed the Council of Ministers about the tribal violence in Port Sudan and in New Halfa in Kassala, and the security situation in general in eastern Sudan.

During the session, Idris presented an account of the violent events in Port Sudan that started on August 9 with a march of Nuba tribesmen, in protest against the newly appointed civilian governor of South Kordofan, Hamid El Bashir. They submitted a memorandum to the Red Sea state governor.

The protest triggered the throwing of stones and beatings by eastern Sudanese, followed by the use of firearms. The violence resulted in the death of dozens of people, and the burning of homes in the Deim Filib and Dar El Neim neighbourhoods and extended to burning of cars in other neighbourhoods.

The Minister said these events are related to the previous clashes in the city, which led to the signing of a reconciliation agreement between Nuba and Beni Amer leaders.

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