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Sudan: Workers strike shuts down Red Sea ports

A Sudanese protester flashes the victory gesture as he stands atop a gatehouse while others chant slogans and wave the flag of the opposition Umma Party led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on 25 January 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]
A Sudanese protester flashes the victory gesture as he stands atop a gatehouse while others chant slogans and wave the flag of the opposition Umma Party led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on 25 January 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Sudanese port workers went on strike, Thursday, in solidarity with their colleagues in the Southern port of Port Sudan, east of the country,  who went on strike, Monday, demanding their rights before entering a new operational phase with a foreign employer who will manage the port.

The Port Sudan based journalist and expert in Sudanese ports, Abdul Quadir Bakash, stated: “since this morning all activities usually carried out in the Northern Port, the Green Port, AlKhair Port, and the Osman Digna Port, in Suakin city, were shut down.”

Strikers in the Southern port of Port Sudan refused on Wednesday to meet a high-level government delegation to negotiate their demands.

Sudanese port workers protested against a government deal that will allow a foreign company to run the port.

READ: Sudan releases 2,400 protesters amid US condemnation of crackdown

On Tuesday, a government delegation, which included Assistant President of the Republic, Musa Mohamed Ahmed, Minister of TransportHatem Al-Sir, and a representative of the Ministry of Finance, headed to Port Sudan (east) to meet with the strikers at the port and check on the situation there.

The Port Sudan port is located in the city of Port Sudan, the capital of the Red Sea State, and it comprises the Northern Port and the Southern Port.

The Sudanese government signed a contract with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) to run the Southern Port, in 2016. However, the Philipino company did not proceed with its designated activities until 2019, after sealing the deal against ten other international companies, which competed to win the bid.

Both parties have signed a 20 years contract worth € 530 million. ICTSI paid only € 410 million, and will pay the rest of the amount in the form of instalments, plus a monthly payment of € 1 million, which will increase to € 1.5 million in the future.

Protests in Sudan - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Protests in Sudan – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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