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White Nile state protestors threaten to close Sudan-South Sudan border

November 4 - 2020 JODA / EL HAMRA
A community leader addresses the sit-in in Joda, White Nile state, November 4 (Social media)
A community leader addresses the sit-in in Joda, White Nile state, November 4 (Social media)

Protestors in White Nile state plan to close the Sudan-South Sudan border crossing point at Joda. The road blocks in El Hamra in eastern Sudan’s El Gedaref were removed on Monday.

Eight days ago, on October 27, activists organised a sit-in at the border town of Joda in El Jebelein locality demanding the establishment of a free trade zone and the construction of roads in the region.

They further demand the regular provision of water and electricity, and the rehabilitation of all hospitals and schools in Joda Administrative Unit.

The protestors said yesterday that the White Nile state government has disregarded their concerns so far. They plan to block the Sudan-Sudanese border crossing to give force to their demands.

Sudan and South Sudan opened a free trade zone in the area of Mokhaleef in El Jebelein last week, in a move designed to promote border trade between the two countries. Nine other border crossing will be opened soon as well.

In mid-October, residents of El Jebelein town launched a sit-in, demanding clean drinking water, an increase in the subsidised flour quota, the restructuring of the locality’s administration, tightened control along the border with South Sudan, and an improved environment and infrastructure.

The head of the White Nile state government visited the sit-in on October 27. The two parties agreed to list the demands according to urgency. The official promised that they would be implemented accordingly, after which the sit-in was lifted.

Traffic resumes in El Hamra

In eastern Sudan, the El Gedaref state Security Committee has persuaded protestors in El Hamra to open the highway linking the towns of El Galabat and El Gedaref after a five-day road block.

On Monday, the road was opened, enabling traders and farmers to resume their work again.

Following the fatal shooting of a farmer by Ethiopian gunmen in the early morning of October 28, people in El Hamra in East El Galabat locality blocked the highway, demanding protection against the recurrent attacks by shifta, as the Ethiopian bandits are called in the region.


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