The closure of ports and highways in the Red Sea state continued on day 27. A delegation from the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) arrived in Port Sudan on Wednesday to meet with Red Sea Governor Abdallah Shangarai and protesters.

Stephanie Corrie, representative of UNITAMS, stressed the existence of a political and development problem at her meeting with the demonstrators in front of the seaports and called for a dialogue between all parties in Eastern Sudan and a dialogue with the central government in Khartoum in order to solve all problems.

Corrie and her accompanying delegation met with Red Sea State Governor Abdallah Shangarai. The representative of the mission explained that the current visit to the Red Sea state extends over three days in order to hear the different points of view on Eastern issues and proposed solutions.

The High Council of the Beja Nazirs and the Independent Chiefs has been against the East Sudan track since the first agreement between the Sudanese government and the rebel alliance of the Sudan Revolutionary Front in the southern Sudanese capital Juba in February 2020. The track was negotiated at the Beja Congress in the opposition and the Popular Front for Justice. The council of Beja Nazirs was not involved in the talks in the southern Sudanese capital that led to the signing of the Juba peace agreement on October 3 last year.

The Beja leadership council, headed by Nazir Sayed Tirik, responded by calling for an inclusive East Sudan conference to decide on the future of the region. Council members organized two major protests last year, in Sinkat, Red Sea State, and Telkok, Kassala, where they threatened to demand self-determination for Eastern Sudan if the government fails to comply.

Protest actions

Last month, the Beja Nazirs Council announced major protests to put more pressure on the Sudanese government to repeal the Eastern Sudan Track protocol. The Khartoum-Port Sudan motorway and the roads connecting the Red Sea state to Kassala and El Gedaref, as well as the railway lines, have been blocked, and most of the ports and pipelines carrying oil from Sudan and also from South Sudan have been closed .

This time the Beja chiefs are also calling for a government to be formed from technocrats. “We demand a competent government because the current party government is reacting too slowly to our demands,” said spokesman Abdallah Obshar to Radio Dabanga on September 20th.