14 June 2017

Sudan: Protest Blocks Main Highway in the North

Wadi Halfa — The A1 highway that connects Wadi Halfa in Sudan's Northern State with the national capital of Khartoum was blocked on Tuesday by a protest against deterioration of services and marginalisation.

Others protestors besieged the locality headquarters. One of the demonstrators told Radio Dabanga that the police broke-up the demonstrations using tear gas and batons.

He explained that the demonstrators called for maintenance of Wadi Halfa hospital and mortuary. They also demand that the main border crossing into Egypt be returned to Argeen, which lies on the western shore of Lake Nubia opposite Wadi Halfa.

The demonstrators threatened to leave the Northern State and join River Nile state instead if their demands are not met.

Customs post

Tuesday's protest mirrors demonstrations that occurred in September 2016 following a decision by the authorities to move the main customs post from Argeen to the Dongola, some 450 kilometres upstream.

The customs post at Argeen on the lake's opposite bank has traditionally been an important source of revenue and employment for Wadi Halfa. Over the past years, roads have been improved on both sides of the border to facilitate crossings.

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