Resistance committees in Sudan’s Northern State re-established blockades of several major roads on Monday, after security forces had dismantled them in the morning. The committees deny recent reports of suspension of the blockages by ‘fictitious bodies’.
The resistance committees of Abri and Delgo re-closed the Ishket-El Salim road at its intersection at Abri, while the Hafir Mushowi committees re-closed the northern artery linking Argeen on the Egyptian border with Dongola after the joint forces dismantled them on Monday morning. The Hamdab bridge at Merowe continued to be closed for the third week in a row.
A convoy moved from the Emery area to El Hamdab bridge after reports of attempts to break up the barricades, and protesters pointed to the continuous attempts of Egyptian freight drivers to break up the barricades by force.
The spokesman for the Coordination of the Resistance Committees in the Northern State, Wael El Imam, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the resistance committees will continue to block the road until their legitimate demands are met. In response to earlier reports by the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) of the opening of roads, he denied the existence of any gathering or union of farmers in the north, describing it as “fictitious bodies whose leaders belonged to the former regime”. He said that the main objective of the closure was to reject the military coup and bring down the policies of the coup authority represented in increasing electricity prices.
The blockade, that has hampered especially freight traffic since January 9, was set up in protest against sharp increases in electricity prices. Last year, the federal Ministry of Finance planned a significant increase in electricity prices for 2022, as it decided to continue with lifting subsidies on consumer goods, in order to meet the demands of the World Bank. In early January 2021, the power tariffs already increased by 500 per cent.
Farmers told Radio Dabanga that the increase in electricity prices affects agriculture in Nile River state and Northern State.
They warned authorities of the failure of the current agricultural season if they did not cancel these increases, especially the upcoming wheat harvest, which they said needs to be irrigated before it fails.