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Hemeti visit prompts protests in Port Sudan

March 16 - 2022 PORT SUDAN
Cartoon by Omar Dafallah (RD)
Cartoon by Omar Dafallah (RD)

On Tuesday, Port Sudan in Red Sea state witnessed demonstrations against the visit of Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council. The protesters blocked a number of streets with stones and tyres in central Port Sudan.

Demonstrators told Radio Dabanga that the police fired tear gas extensively and used excessive violence at the University Street and inside and outside the university campus, which led to a fire in one of the buildings.

Hemeti denied the signing of a privatisation agreement for the southern port with the UAE, and said in statements upon his arrival at Port Sudan airport that he came only to stand on the issues and problems of the port, and seek to solve them, so that the incoming and outgoing flows occur in an automated and smooth manner.

He said, “We did not come to sign any agreement regarding the port, but we came to solve the port’s accumulated problems with specialists and with the governor during the coming days.”

He explained that he will discuss this with the competent authorities, such as the ministers of the economic sector, and specialists to discuss satisfactory solutions.

Emirates partnerships

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, Sudan’s Acting Foreign Minister, Ali El Sadig, says an agreement designed to enable banks to perform their role in the development of Sudan’s economy, has been negotiated between Sudan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the private sectors.

El Sadig was speaking at Khartoum airport on Sunday the return from the UAE of a high-level delegation, headed by the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan.

He said that the Sudanese and Emirati delegations “agreed to establish large strategic economic partnerships in roads, ports, railway, military cooperation, and exchange of experiences”.

Workers at the sea ports in Red Sea state expressed their concerns about the privatisation of the Port Sudan port following the agreement between El Burhan and the Abu Dhabi’s heir apparent, on partnership in the field of sea ports.

Sea ports workers leader Osman Taher told Radio Dabanga that the UAE ports are a major competitor to the Red Sea ports and therefore cannot partner. He expressed the workers concerns over the port of Port Sudan. The agreement with Abu Dhabi may lead to the closure of the Port Sudan port in favour of the UAE ports.

He pointed to the high shipping cost from global ports to Port Sudan of $12,000 for a container compared to $8,000 to the Egyptian ports, and said that shipping companies as well expect the closure of the Port Sudan port.

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