Closing of Port Sudan: Attempt at political blackmail

While the leader of the armed group that announced the shutting down of work at the port confirmed that the closure aims to stop trucks and disrupt work at the port, others said that the port was working as normal.

AlTaghyeer: Elfadil Ibrahim
Conflicting reports surfaced regarding the closure of the southern port in the city of Port Sudan for the second time, previous time being on September and October in the year 2021.
Videos broadcast on social media showed a group belonging to an eastern Sudan local chief, Dirar Ahmed Dirar –known as “Sheiba Dirar— claiming it had shut down work in the southern port; a statement which informed sources had denied ever happened.
Social media videos showed a group affiliated with Dirar claiming it had stopped work at the port.
Dirar stated that closing the port is a means of pressure to obtain the rights of the people of the East, at a time
The group also rejected accusations that an alleged political party being behind their actions is the one that drives them.
Dirar emphasized on the need to “drop any political agreement or [bring down] government that does not commit to granting them their rights.”

Work in Progress

For his part, Muhammad Ahmed Awad, one of the leaders of the port workers, confirmed that work is proceeding normally inside the port, and that the news were untrue.
Awad told AlTaghyeer that the Sheiba Dirar group was protesting outside port work areas and that it was not influential.
The labor leader explained that the workers’ representatives issued various statements, during which they refused to “use the port for any political agenda.”
He pointed out that they are still suffering from the consequences of the previous closure, which lasted for 45 days.

Devastating effect

Economics professor Ibrahim Onur had warned, in previous statements to AlTaghyeer, that the closure of the port in Port Sudan and the national road has devastating impacts on the Sudanese economy.
Onur said that the port is still suffering from the previous closure, after directives by international organizations specialized in navigation asked ships not to pay fees in the ports of Sudan due to the political turmoil then.
The economic professor indicated that any new closure of the port will have catastrophic consequences for the port and the Sudanese economy.

Labor Refusal

The loading and unloading workers at the port issued a statement, which was seen by AlTaghyeer, refusing to close the port in Port Sudan.
The statement emphasized that the “cause of eastern Sudan was just” and the east has “suffered injustice and marginalization from all governments since Sudan’s independence.”
He noted that the issue of the east should be handled with “necessary seriousness” without exploiting it to settle political scores or outbid “those who raise their rhetoric in the name of eastern Sudan,” according to the description of the statement.
He also emphasized that using the port closure policy to put pressure on different governments was “a weapon that affected workers before others.”
He warned against any party that wanted to use them to carry out sit-ins or strikes against their interest.

Previous Close

Last year, the Supreme Council of Beja Leaders closed the port for a month and a half.
The council’s demands at the time were to dissolve the-then civilian government headed by Abdallah Hamdok, which was then dissolved through the military coup that was carried out by the army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, on October 25, 2021.

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