World Sudan protesters block crucial oil pipelines: oil minister
Sudan and Ethiopia are nearing a fight over land and water
Border disputes and the GERD project are sowing the seeds of conflict between the two states.With so much death and destruction coming from the Tigray crisis, there is a danger that too little attention is being paid to the potential for a second deadly conflict to engulf Ethiopia, this one stemming from growing tensions with its neighbour Sudan. While the details are sometimes complex and technical, at its core, the brewing conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia has the most basic of motivations: control over land and water.
Sudan's oil minister said Saturday protesters blocked two key oil pipelines in Port Sudan, the main seaport on the Red Sea, over a peace deal with rebel groups.
Warning of "an extremely grave situation", Oil Minister Gadein Ali Obeid told AFP one pipeline transports oil exports from South Sudan while the other provide Sudan with crude imports.
"Entrances and exits at the port's exports terminal have been completely shuttered" since early Saturday, he said.
Failed Sudan coup points to threats to transition
Sudan's failed coup highlights the threats to its transition to civilian rule after the ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir two years ago, analysts say. The country is led by a civilian-military administration under an August 2019 power-sharing deal. It was signed months after Bashir's ouster by the military following mass protests against his iron-fisted three decades in power. But the transition to full civilian rule has remained shaky, reeling from deep fragmentation among political factions, economic woes and a receding role for civilian leaders.
Last year, several rebel groups signed a landmark accord with Sudan's transitional government which came to power shortly after the April 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
Beja tribes people in Sudan's impoverished east where Port Sudan is located have criticised the fragile peace deal saying it does not represent them.
Port Sudan is the country's main seaport and a vital trade hub for its crippled economy dependent on exports.
The Khartoum government receives around $25 for every barrel of oil sold from South Sudan, according to official figures.
South Sudan produces around 162,000 barrels a day. It is transported via pipelines to Port Sudan and then shipped to global markets.
Protests against the October 2020 deal have rocked east Sudan since last week.
Sudan: The protest intensifies in the east of the country, the protesters block Port Sudan
© AFP - ASHRAf Shazly A view from the port of the city of Port Sudan in the east of the country currently blocked by protesters (image of illustration). Since mid-September, demonstrators block the city of Port Sudan. They denounce a signed peace agreement nearly a year ago between different rebellious movements and the Khartoum government. Signed on October 3, 2020, this agreement does not guarantee a good political representation.
On September 17, demonstrators impeded access to the docks at Port Sudan.
At the time, protest leader Sayed Abuamnah told AFP demonstrators had also blocked "the main container and oil export terminals".
On Friday, demonstrators blocked the entrance to the airport and a bridge linking Kassala State in the east with the rest of the country.
The unrest comes as Sudan grapples with deep economic woes left in the wake of Bashir's ouster, whose three-decade iron-fisted rule was marked by prolonged US sanctions.
The demonstrations also come a week after the administration of embattled Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said it had thwarted a failed coup attempt.
Sudan factions form new alliance as splits deepen .
The ceremony included political parties, the Sudan Liberation Movement, and the Justice and Equality Movement.The announcement on Saturday at a ceremony in Khartoum came as Sudan reels from fragmentation within the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), an alliance that spearheaded protests that removed President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.