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Sudan Sea Ports protester detained

February 27 - 2017 PORT SUDAN
Port Sudan Harbour (USAID)
Port Sudan Harbour (USAID)

The protest against the dismissals and privatisation procedures of the southern port of Port Sudan witnessed its first arrest of one of the demonstrators on Saturday. The port has returned a number of workers under the growing pressure by activists.

Agents of the security service shortly detained Red Sea state activist and a prominent member of the political Beja Congress party, Dr Abdallah Eisa, after he participated in the seminar by Sea Ports Corporation workers on Saturday evening in Deim Arab district.

Osman Tahir, the head of the Alternative Port Workers Union, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that Eisa was arrested at his work place after the seminar ended. He was interrogated him for nearly three hours in the security service's offices, reportedly against the backdrop of leasing loudspeakers to use during the demonstration.

The demonstration was held by seaports workers themselves who refuse the privatisation of the port of Port Sudan. Tahir: “Hundreds of workers attended, as well as civil society organisations. It lasted until midnight.”

Speakers at the event stressed that the port's privatisation will result in the displacement of many employees.

Returns

Tahir reported that about 230 workers who were laid-off from work were allowed to return to their jobs at Sea Ports Corporation, which he said is a result of the growing pressure and protests against the privatisation.

Last week, a sit-in by workers who are dismissed by the Sea Ports Corporation took place in front of the State Legislative Council. They handed a memorandum to its chair, holding their complaints about how the large number of dismissals affects the lives of many families and that they view the developments as a prelude to the privatisation of the port.

It is worth to mention that starting January, the Sea Ports Corporation has terminated the contracts of more than 400 temporary workers. There is also a plan to relocate 300 permanent workers in the southern port to the northern port in order to reduce the number of workers.


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