Union: Sudan govt. selling ports to foreign parties
The Sudanese government is accused of selling its ports to foreign companies in secret deals, an act that is condemned by political forces, civil society organisations and trade unions in eastern Sudan, says a Sudanese workers’ union.
The Sudanese government is accused of selling its ports to foreign companies in secret deals, an act that is condemned by political forces, civil society organisations and trade unions in eastern Sudan, says a Sudanese workers' union.
Political parties, civil society organisations and trade unions have refused to sell, lease or manage Sudanese ports to foreign companies of ports in Dubai ports and elsewhere. Abdallah Musa, a leading union member in eastern Sudan: “The government, which has sold the country's resources and manipulated them, is now moving towards selling or renting ports to foreign companies in secret deals whose details, terms and the form in which it was agreed upon is not known”.
Abdallah Musa is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudanese Democracy First Group (SDFG), which issued a detailed report on the progress of privatisation of Port Sudan and the manifestations of corruption and mismanagement. “Such deals should be open to the Sudanese people so that the Sudanese people know what is going on.”
He stressed that this issue “should not be hidden in accordance with corrupt deals, but should involve all workers in the Sudanese ports and all residents of eastern Sudan in general, in addition to its political forces, civil organisations and national figures.
Thousands of people work in the Sudanese ports and are at risk of losing their income in case of a take-over by foreign parties, Musa stressed. His main reasons behind his refusal to sell, lease or manage the Sudanese ports by foreign parties, are based on the fact that the Sudanese “have the skills and expertise over a century of management of the Sudanese ports.
“The port is a vital part of Sudan's policies that cannot not be handed over to a foreign country to manipulate it.”
Sudan Democracy First Group
The think-thank Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) has called upon the Sudanese government in the past to disclose the Sudanese people the information and details of offers made by foreign companies to manage the ports.
In a report on the privatisation of Port Sudan and its mismanagement, the group asked that the government abandons economic trends that allow foreign companies to have the right to manage any of the Sudanese ports.
For example in July 2016, the Sudanese parliament approved a bill that allows Saudi Arabia to reform and cultivate more than a million acres of land in eastern Sudan.
SDFG recommended to involve Red Sea State nationals, port workers, clearance agents, shipping agencies and civil society organisations in its decisions to update the port.
The think-thank launched the Sudan Transparency Initiative (STI) Project in March 2015 “to investigate, analyse, document and disseminate credible and reliable information about the scope and scale of corruption and the lack of transparency in Sudan”.
‘Khartoum is creating an illusion of stability’: Sudanese think tank (23 July 2017)
Sudan Democracy Group highlights land conflicts in Sennar (20 March 2017)