Sudan's PM Hamdok visits River Nile state
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok arrived in Atbara, River Nile state, yesterday for a two-day visit, his first visit to the town since taking office. The Resistance Committees in Atbara boycotted the visit and several protests took place in the state.
The PM visited several projects and facilities including the Zadi1 Nile River irrigation project and the Es Salam Cement Factory in Ed Damar, the state capital. The visit included meetings with the state’s Security Committee, the Coordination of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (RSF).
PM Hamdok also visited the local railways and promised development. He pointed to the severe deterioration of the railway system experienced during the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir.
The Prime Minister said that the River Nile state is one of the largest producers of gold and that gold does not differ from oil in terms of exports. He suggested organising a national conference to deal with matters concerning gold exports and environmental issues.
He explained that over the past 30 years, wars have affected the economy and destroyed a number of areas. Hamdok stressed that peace contributes to development and improved services not only in areas affected by the war but also in areas like the River Nile state that have not been directly affected by war.
The Prime Minister affirmed the state’s willingness and interest in developing the agricultural sector and said that he would prioritise this “by proposing investment projects during the economic conference in Paris, which will be held by the French government next May”.
The Resistance Committees in Atbara boycotted the visit and organised a protest. They set fire to tyres on the main road leading to the airport and raised banners denouncing both the deterioration of the living conditions in the state and the delay in the formation of the Legislative Council.
In a statement yesterday, the Resistance Committees said they refused to meet the Prime Minister. They hold the government accountable for the deteriorating living situation and accused the government of neglecting the outcomes of the economic conference. They further accused the government of violating the Constitutional Document by failing to form a Legislative Council.
In their statement, the committees argued that the transitional government had achieved nothing over the past two years and that there is an absence of justice and security as robberies and murders remain commonplace.
People in Berber, River Nile state, entered their second day of protests yesterday to demand the dismissal of the locality governor and the dissolution of the economics committee.
Yesterday, the protesters reached an agreement with the local government to dismiss the local presidency, however, their sit-in is set to continue until other issues have been settled as well.
Northern State visit
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported today that, after their visit to the River Nile state, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the accompanying delegation of ministers and government officials will leave for Northern State to asses the security situation in the state.
They will hold meetings with the Northern State government and various political and social actors. He will visit Dalgo north of the capital Dongola and other areas in the state.
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