Truce extended in eastern Sudan, women ‘most affected’ by violence

Yesterday, a one-month extension of the cessation of hostilities agreement between various Nuba tribesmen and members of the eastern Sudanese Beni Amer and Habab was signed in Kassala for the third time in a row.

Sit-in demanding removal of new governor and development in Kassala on August 19, 2020 (Social media)

Yesterday, a one-month extension of the cessation of hostilities agreement between Nuba tribesmen and members of the eastern Sudanese Beni Amer and Habab was signed in Kassala for the third time in a row.

The signatory parties emphasised the importance of maintaining social peace, whilst calling on Kassala’s state government to speed up implementation.

In a press conference on Wednesday, representative of the Beni Amer tribe, Mohamed Osman, spoke of good ties between the Beni Amer and the various Nuba tribes living in Kassala in the past. He called for unrestricted adherence to the agreed actions.

Bashir Breima, Sheikh of the Kawaleeb and representative of the Nuba tribes, commented that Nuba and Beni Amer in Kassala are able to peacefully coexist.

Peaceful coexistence

In Port Sudan, Amal El Zaki, head of the Red Sea state Women's Union, accused affiliates of the ousted regime of Omar Al Bashir of provoking conflict in the region. She called out “greedy parties” in neighbouring countries who are using harbours for smuggling.

“There are hidden hands that want to thwart the transitional period,” she told Radio Dabanga in an interview to be broadcast in Arabic today.  

The Women's Union, along with other organisations, have proposed an initiative for peaceful coexistence in the Red Sea state.

Amal explained that women are the most affected by tribal fighting: “There are many women who have lost their only breadwinner in the family. Other women have lost their jobs due to the recent clashes. These factors have led to deteriorating financial situations, which were already unstable due to endemic poverty among women.”

El Zaki also said the union members will run a simple aid convoy to women living in the area of Morafit in Tokar to stand with them, following a number of violent clashes in the area.

Port Sudan

On Sunday August 9, fighting erupted between eastern Sudanese Beni Amer tribesmen and people from the Nuba Mountains in several districts of Port Sudan. The clashes began with small skirmishes when the demonstrators marched through the Dar El Neim district, on their way to the state government secretariat. Regular forces fired shots in the air to stop the skirmishes, but withdrew later, after which clashes erupted. At least 34 people have died since fighting began.

The city witnessed a cautious calm after the arrival of hundreds of paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in the Red Sea state capital on August 13.

Listeners told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan that many people were arrested the following day, among them activists who started the peaceful coexistence campaign mentioned above.

The Network for Social Justice (NCJ) active in eastern Sudan reported on Tuesday that “a regular force” subjected four detainees to “severe torture by pouring caustic substances on parts of their bodies”. Radio Dabanga has tried to contact the Red Sea state police chief for comments, but received no response.


The High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftainships have categorically rejected Saleh Ammar as their new governor and demanded that he is replaced. The Kassala Central Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change welcomes Ammar.

After his appointment, Ammar pledged to work with those opposing his role as Kassala’s governor and supporters alike for the sake of the state’s interest.

End July, protesters closed the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway near Sinkat in Red Sea state intermittently over three days. The High Council of Beja Nazirs* and Independent Chieftains conditioned the opening of the road with an official response to the demands they submitted to the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet in a memorandum, including rejection of Ammar as governor. The protesters also closed a number of government institutions and ministries on July 28, and blocked one of the two bridges over the El Gash river in the town for vehicles.

“Radical solutions” are needed according to the head of the Security Committee of New Halfa locality, Adil Hasan, concerning repeated violent incidents, which took place at the beginning of August despite the agreement between the two parties not to engage with each other.

On August 10, Radio Dabanga reported that the Security and Defence Council of Kassala said they will send a delegation to Khartoum to discuss the matter with the prime minister.

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