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Road, port closures intensify in eastern Sudan

October 20 - 2021 PORT SUDAN / KHARTOUM
A container terminal in Post Sudan (File photo)
A container terminal in Post Sudan (File photo)

The High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains announced on Tuesday the closure of more roads in the Red Sea state, on the 33rd day of the closure ports and national roads.

A delegation of the Civil Forces Initiative from the Red Sea state has arrived in Khartoum and reports about the suffering of the people in the state due to the cessation of economic activity, the high prices, and scarcity of necessary commodities.

During its meeting with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Monday, the delegation called on the central government to move quickly to address the difficult situation in eastern Sudan.

The Prime Minister confirmed the continuation of dialogue with representatives of the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, expressing the government’s determination to reach a quick solution that will relieve the suffering of the people of Red Sea state and all the people of Sudan.

The Prime Minister has met with the head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, following the mission delegation’s visit to Red Sea state.

Hamdok said that the delegation’s visit to the east of the country helped develop dialogue on reaching solutions to the problem of the east in general. The dialogue revolved around the current political situation and efforts to get out of the current crisis.

September witnessed large protest actions in eastern Sudan. The High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains opted for these actions to put more pressure on the Sudanese government to cancel the Eastern Sudan Track protocol in the Juba Peace Agreement. Protestors have been blocking the main roads in Red Sea state, including the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway, railway lines since September 17. Most of the sea ports also remain closed up to now.

In late September, a group of activists in Khartoum filed a lawsuit against the Beja leaders, based on charges concerning the undermining of civil state authority, inciting hatred, and sabotaging the national economy. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure reported in early October that the closure of Red Sea state’s Southern Port has already cost the Sudanese treasury “large sums”.

Sudan’s Ministry of Livestock has announced large losses due to the continued closure of ports, roads, and infrastructure in the east of the country, estimated at $83 million within one month.

In a press statement on Sunday, Minister of Livestock Hafiz Abdelnabi said that the losses from the revenues of local fees for livestock exports amount to SDG 120 million to date.


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