Protesters obstruct key Sudan pipelines, according to the oil minister.
Sudanese protestors shut two vital oil pipelines in Port Sudan, the Red Sea’s biggest seaport, on Saturday in protest of a peace pact with rebel factions, according to the oil minister.
Oil Minister Gadein Ali Obeid told AFP that one pipeline transmits oil exports from South Sudan while the other handles Sudanese crude imports, warning of a “very severe situation.”
Since early Saturday, “entrances and exits at the port’s export terminal have been fully shuttered,” he stated.
Several rebel groups struck a peace accord with Sudan’s transitional government in October, shortly after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was deposed in April 2019.
The demonstrators, who are from Sudan’s Beja minority, claim that the arrangement with Darfur rebels, as well as the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, overlooked their concerns.
After a decade of low-level conflict in Port Sudan and the east, Beja insurgents reached an agreement with the Bashir regime in 2006.
Port Sudan is Sudan’s principal seaport and a vital economic hub for the country’s export-based economy.
According to official calculations, the Khartoum government receives roughly $25 for every barrel of oil sold in South Sudan.
South Sudan produces roughly 162,000 barrels per day, which are delivered to worldwide markets by pipeline from Port Sudan.
Sudan’s oil ministry claimed in a statement that there are enough reserves to last the country for up to ten days.
After demonstrators halted a tanker from carrying petroleum, it warned that the export pipeline could be damaged.
Since last week, east Sudan has been shaken by protests over the October 2020 pact.
Demonstrators blocked access to the Port Sudan ports on September 17.
Demonstrators blocked the airport’s entry as well as a bridge connecting Kassala state to the rest of the country on Friday.
Sudan is dealing with long-standing economic issues left over from the Bashir dictatorship.
Shortly after it began, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional administration said that it had foiled a coup attempt by supporters of the ousted president.