Sudan: Khartoum lifts blockade of an oil port with protesters

Sudan: Khartoum lifts blockade of an oil port with protesters

On Sunday evening Khartoum announced that oil exports from South Sudan would be able to resume through the Sudanese port of Bashair, following a deal with protesters who blocked it. The agreement came hours after Khartoum sent a ministerial delegation to protesters blocking the port and two pipelines.

“As a result of a meeting between a government delegation led by Sovereignty Council member General Kabashi and a delegation from the Beja Council, South Sudanese oil exports were allowed to pass through the port of Bashir,” it said in a statement. Khartoum Sovereignty Council, a military-civilian body that oversees the transition along with the civilian government.

Near Port Sudan is the Bashair main terminal, from which oil from landlocked South Sudan is sent to global markets.

a “very serious” condition

In this impoverished region, through which much of the country’s trade passes, protesters denounce a peace deal with the rebels, which, according to them, does not guarantee adequate representation within local authorities.

As a sign that the crisis was being taken very seriously, the ministerial delegation was composed of a high-ranking official of the Sovereignty Council, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, energy and transport.

Sudan’s petroleum minister spoke on Saturday about a “very serious” situation his country was already mired in an economic downturn.

For ten days, the Beja, one of the largest tribes in the East, blocked roads to Port Sudan, the port and commercial heart of Sudan. After blocking access to the airport on Friday, these demonstrators stepped up the pressure on Saturday by blocking the only pipeline that allowed the South Sudanese neighbor to export its oil, as well as another that allowed the delivery of oil. South Sudanese oil in Sudan.

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Read more: In Sudan, oil no longer hinders peace

The Sudanese petroleum ministry has warned it will only have hydrocarbon reserves for “ten days”, caught between poverty and rampant inflation and austerity imposed by its international donors.

Interruption after coup attempt

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who heads the Sovereignty Council, a military-civilian body that oversees the transition along with the civilian government, said on Sunday that the protests in Port Sudan were “political”. “The blockade in Port-Sudan comes from citizens with demands, this is a political fact and must be managed politically”, he said at the opening of a military hospital in Khartoum.

Upon declaring independence in 2011, after decades of conflict with Khartoum, South Sudan inherited 75% of pre-secession Sudan’s oil reserves. But, landlocked, it is dependent on neighboring Sudanese infrastructure to export. According to official figures, the government in Khartoum receives about $25 for every barrel sold by South Sudan.

on this subject: Failed coup attempt in Sudan

The blockade of the former Khartoum announced last week that it had thwarted a coup attempt, according to officials, by supporters of Omar al-Bashir’s regime, a popular uprising in 2019 and the autocracy overthrown by the military.

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