Sudan warns of looming food and medicine crisis

Tuesday October 05 2021
A shop in Sudan.

A Sudanese vendor waits for customers outside a grocery store in Khartoum. The Sudanese government has warned of a looming shortage of essential medicine and strategic goods. PHOTO | FILE | AFP


The Sudanese government has warned of a looming shortage of essential medicine and strategic goods, including food, after protesters blocked main transport routes for imports.

For the past few weeks, protesters in eastern Sudan have blocked movement of supplies from the main port on the Red Sea coast, in the city of Port Sudan, to pressure Khartoum to implement a number of political demands.

They have been demonstrating against what they describe as the deteriorating political and economic conditions in the region.

A statement issued by the Sudanese cabinet on Sunday said preventing transport of essential medicine and goods is a “crime” against millions of citizens.

The government said the country's stock of life-saving medicines and intravenous solutions is about to run out, as the closure of the the port and the national road has hindered the arrival of imported shipments.

The closure of the transport route will likely lead to a shortage of fuel and wheat, leading to a shortage of bread and electricity generation and supply.


For more than three weeks, the crisis in eastern Sudan has escalated, which has resulted in major security, political and economic tensions in the country.

The group and its leader, Muhammad Al-Amin Turk, claim they were marginalised in the Sudan peace negotiations, which resulted in the signing of the peace agreement in October 2020.

A group from eastern Sudan participated in the negotiations, but the Turk group rejected this mandate.

Initially, the Turk group made demands related to local matters such as differences over the region’s representatives who signed the agreement.

However, last Friday, Turk, a member of the National Congress Party which was headed by ousted President Omar al-Bashir, added more demands, including the cancellation of the constitutional document, the dissolution of the government and the Empowerment Committee.

Al-Hadi Idris, a member of the Sovereign Council and head of the Revolutionary Front, which signed the Sudanese peace agreement, announced that responding to Turk's demands would lead to a complete collapse of the peace process in the country.

The Sudanese government's statement acknowledged that the issue of the east of the country is a fair issue and a national priority, and indicated that its solution is primarily political.

Last week, a Sudanese government delegation, including a member of the Sovereign Council, Lieutenant General Shams El-Din Kabbashi, and a number of federal ministers, engaged in meetings with leaders in the city of Port Sudan.

They sought to discuss solutions to the deepening crisis in eastern Sudan, which has resulted in huge security, political and economic repercussions on the country. They, however, failed to reach agreement.