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South Sudan oil exports resume after Khartoum-protesters deal

·1-min read
Backers of a chief of the Beja minority protesting in eastern Sudan wave in support as he meets with a delegation led by a member of Sudan's Sovereign Council in the city of Port Sudan (AFP/Ibrahim ISHAQ)

South Sudanese oil exports resumed Monday after an agreement between Khartoum and protesters who blocked pipelines in Port Sudan over the weekend, the oil ministry in the Sudanese capital said.

Khartoum earns revenue for its impoverished economy from the transit of neighbouring South Sudan's oil exports.

Landlocked South Sudan's oil is shipped to global markets from Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

The deal came late Sunday after senior government officials met with protesters disgruntled with a peace deal that Sudan's transitional government struck with rebel groups in October 2020.

The ruling Sovereign Council released a video late Sunday showing the removal of chains and locks by demonstrators used to barricade the key port.

Sudan formed the joint civilian-military ruling council after the ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

It serves alongside a transitional government, led by civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, that last October signed a peace agreement with several rebel groups.

But the eastern protesters, from Sudan's Beja minority, say the deal with rebels from the Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states ignored their interests.

While blockading access to Port Sudan on Saturday, the protesters have also blocked the entrance to the city's airport and a key bridge.

They vowed to keep the eastern region cut off until their demands, which they handed over to the government delegation, are met.

"We've allowed for the South Sudan oil exports to flow again but the shutdown is still ongoing," protest leader Sayed Abu Amnah told AFP.

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