(Bloomberg) -- Sudan’s main sea ports were blockaded by protesters opposed to part of a peace deal with rebels, targeting some of the ravaged economy’s main conduits for trade.
Demonstrations forced facilities to close at Port Sudan and Suakin, both on the Red Sea, according to the head of a local labor committee that backs the action, Abdou Alshirbini. Protesters plan Monday to extend their blockade to Bashair, the port from which landlocked South Sudan’s oil is shipped to world markets, he said by phone.
Authorities weren’t immediately available to comment on the committee’s claims. Sudan Seaports Corp. spokesman Nabil Mahmoud said Sunday that facilities at Port Sudan and Suakin had been partially closed, without giving details.
Any long-term stoppage would mean more trouble for Sudan’s already struggling economy. Inflation has hit 167% and GDP is likely to contract some 7.2% this year as the North African country strives to overcome shortages of key commodities and attract foreign aid and investment in the aftermath of dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 2019 ouster.
Sudan’s transitional government signed a landmark peace deal with rebel groups on Saturday that’s designed to end years of conflict in the western Darfur region and two southern states.
Members of the Beja community and some local leaders have rejected the clauses related to solving a long-running lower-level dispute in eastern Sudan, saying they weren’t consulted and the pact doesn’t address the root causes of regional marginalization.
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