Suicide attempt by Beja veteran foiled in Port Sudan
An ex-combatant of the Beja Congress attempted to kill himself in a government office in the Red Sea state capital of Port Sudan on Monday.
Mohamed Ali Shagai demanded to speak to the Red Sea state governor, Mohamed Taher Eila, about the delay by the authorities in granting him his financial dues. When this was refused, he poured petrol on himself, but he was prevent from igniting it by bystanders, an activist reported to Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan.
It is Shagai’s second suicide attempt inside a Red Sea state government facility this year. On 31 august, he and another demobilised Beja Congress fighter tried to torch themselves in Port Sudan, in protest against the state government’s negligence of their situation.
Omar Hashem El Khalifa, Chairman of the Beja Congress and Eastern Front Ex-Combatants Committee of the Red Sea State, commented to Radio Dabanga by saying that the dire living conditions, “experienced by all ex-combatants”, prompted Shagai to attempt suicide. “Hunger and diseases have already caused the death of many demobilised fighters and their family members in eastern Sudan.”
In July and August, Red Sea state witnessed several protests by ex-rebels of the Beja Congress and the Eastern Front. End July, they occupied the premises of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Port Sudan, calling for the full implementation of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA).
The ESPA was signed by the Eastern Front, an alliance of eastern Sudanese opposition groups, and the Sudanese government in October 2006. Three Eastern Front leaders, Musa Mohamed Ahmed, Amna Dirar, and Mabrouk Mubarak Salim, were appointed as Assistant to the President.
In September, the demobilised combatants decided to withdraw their confidence in these three leaders, in protest against the non-implementation of the security arrangements, and the integration into the Sudanese regular forces, as stipulated in the ESPA.
“The ESPA contains three protocols: about power sharing, wealth sharing, and security arrangements. The contents are supposed to be incorporated in the Sudanese Constitution, but nothing of that happened,” El Amin Daoud, Political Secretary of the eastern Sudanese rebel Popular Front for Liberation and Justice (PFLJ) explained to Radio Dabanga on 21 September.
File photo:Eastern Front troops in 2007 (Christopher Milner/Pulitzer Center)
‘Ruling party hampers eastern Sudan peace accord’ (21 September 2014)
Eastern Sudan ex-combatants ‘lose confidence’ in leaders (19 September 2014)
Beja ex-combatants attempt suicide in Port Sudan (1 September 2014)
Beja veterans occupy ruling party’s office in Port Sudan (28 July 2014)
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