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Coup denounced as ‘attempt to commit national suicide’ as Port Sudan blockades persist

November 3 - 2021 PORT SUDAN / SUAKIN
Map of Port Sudan harbours (Sudan Sea Ports Authority)
Map of Port Sudan harbours (Sudan Sea Ports Authority)

The civilian political forces of Eastern Sudan issued a statement today denouncing the military coup as “an attempt to commit national suicide” and “a violation of the law”, calling on the public “in the East and throughout the country to engage in civil disobedience and demonstrate by all legitimate means until the surrender of the putschists”.

The crucial Southern Port of Port Sudan remains closed and blockaded by protestors, in spite of the announcement by the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains on Monday to provisionally open the ports for a month – after a closure that has lasted a month and a half – following a reported promise of participation in government by the coup leaders.

In a forceful press statement forwarded to Radio Dabanga today, the civil and political forces in eastern Sudan against the coup, including eight individuals including the former Wali of Kassala, and five civil society organisations and parties*, declare their categorical rejection of the military coup, denouncing it as a rebellion against the will of the people and a violation of the law.

“We appeal to our people in the East and throughout the country to engage in civil disobedience and demonstrate by all legitimate means until the surrender of the putschists.

“We call on all actors from the sons and daughters of eastern Sudan to form committees to lead the movement from residential neighbourhoods to government institutions and universities and in every location.

“We condemn the attempts of some of the members of the former regime to hijack the name of eastern Sudan and its social components to support the ‘attempt to commit national suicide’, led by Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan.

“We ask everyone to be vigilant and wary of any attempts that may be led by the revolutionaries and the remnants of the former regime to drag the mass movement into the trap of conflicts and impose hate speech.”

The signatories affirm their ongoing support for the values and principles of the December 2019 revolution.

Blockades persist

Reporting from Port Sudan, journalist Amin Sanada, who is one of the signatories, told Radio Dabanga that the sit-in tents are still erected in front of the Southern Port, and the entrances to the port are closed. The protestors say that they will maintain the closure of the port until their related demands are met, and stressed their disagreement with the decision of Nazir Sayed Tirik, Chairman of the Beja Council, to open ports and roads.

Tirik announced his support for El Burhan and the coup last week, after the coup leaders acknowledged the political demands of the Beja leaders concerning participation in the government. Tirik pledged at the time that they will ease the blocking of the ports and the highway as soon as a part of their demands have been agreed on.

However, Sanada says that the protestors who are continuing their blockade of the Southern Port affirm their solidarity with the sit-ins and civil disobedience campaigns that are organised in the rest of the country to adhere to the democratic transition.

He reports that Suakin Port, some 50 kilometres south of Port Sudan, has been partially opened, as has the road between the oil refinery and the city of Port Sudan.

* The signatories:

  1. Salih Ammar - the former governor of Kassala
  2. Abla Mohamed Osman Hamid Karar
  3. Jaafar Khidir - Head of the Baladna Movement
  4. Amin Sanada - journalist
  5. Marwa Madani Omar Madani - the women’s pulpit, Red Sea State
  6. Azaz Kamaleldin
  7. Muohamed El Badawi
  8. Hanan Hamed Idris

Organisations and parties:

  1. Sunrise Forum
  2. The Communication Party
  3. Civil Society Initiative in Eastern Sudan
  4. Eastern Sudan Revolutionary Alliance
  5. Gedaref Salvation Initiative

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