Sudanese security forces have been blockading rebel-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains for the last two weeks, with measures that local merchants and traders term ‘arbitrary’.
The security forces have prevented the entry of any goods coming from Lagawa in West Kordofan to the Jilid Tema and Tulushi areas, which are under the control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N).
Merchants and residents of Lagawa told Radio Dabanga that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) imposed private permits and strict procedures on the merchants and retailers of those villages for buying basic necessities such as sugar, flour and fuel.
They report that a number of the area’s merchants have been subjected to trials and confiscation of their goods under the pretext of owning goods without a permit from the security services
They pointed out that the security forces also tightened the procedures on the entry of goods coming from Khartoum and El Obeid to Lagawa by limiting the quantities of goods to be transported in advance; which has an effect on commercial movement and purchasing power.
Activists from Lagawa voiced protests against the repercussions of these measures and procedures which they described as ‘arbitrary’.
The native administrations in control of both the SPLM and government-controlled areas have previous agreements allowing for the movement of people to do shopping for basic necessities.
On Wednesday, witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the Lagawa market, merchants protested and began a strike. The locality’s Commissioner intervened to defuse the situation.