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Beja protests should not disturb vital facilities in eastern Sudan: government

RSF fighters deployed in Kassala State on Thursday 4 January 2018 (ST Photo)
October 6, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Security and National Defence Council said that the protests in eastern Sudan should not lead to disruption of vital facilities in the country, adding it has taken decisions to prevent disorder.

Some of the Beja traditional leaders organized a series of demonstrations and sit-ins in several in eastern Sudan to express their rejection of the Juba agreement on their region. They declared their adherence to the October 2006 agreement and its leaders who signed it.

Following the murder of a police officer in Hiya town on Monday, the Council held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday headed by the head of the Sovereign Council with the participation of the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to discuss the repercussions of these troubles on national security and the national economy.

"The Council had made clear decisions regarding the freedom of demonstrations and sit-ins, provided that they were not at the expense of vital facilities such as closing national roads and ports due to their direct impact on the national economy and Sudan’s foreign relations", said the defence minister Yassen Ibrahim in a written released after the meeting.

However, Ibrahim did not disclose the decisions of the Council. Instead, he said that the meeting decided to form committees to address eastern Sudan’s issues.

The minister further said it was decided to form a preparatory committee headed by Ibrahim Jabir, a member of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, to prepare for the inclusive constitutional consultative conference for the citizens of eastern Sudan regarding the peace agreement signed in Juba recently.

In separate statements, the Minister of Information and the government spokesman said that the Council of Ministers discussed the situation in Port Sudan, and discussed the role of the security services in the region.

The council pointed out the importance of dialogue and peaceful debate and “the need for an integrated strategy to manage the East crisis due to the presence of the (foreign) intelligence and international dimension and many complications”.

Three Beja tribes distanced themselves from the protests staged by the Hadandaw-controlled Supreme Council of the Beja Tribes, and its tribal leader, Mohamed Ahmad Turk saying he does not represent them.

In response to the statement of the Security and Defence Council, the legal adviser of the Beja tribal body Mohamed Karar said they will continue the peaceful protests until their demands are fulfilled.

“Hence, we warn the central government and its forces that any attempt to break up the peaceful sit-ins by force will cause a disaster and increase conflicts,” Karar further said.