Sudan: Oil Field and Hospitals Closed as Strike Wave Continues

Central Khartoum in 2017.
23 August 2022

Kassala / El Fasher / Abyei — Medics in Kassala threatened to go on strike if the hospital director was not dismissed within 24 hours, whilst medics in North Darfur remained on strike for the fourth consecutive week. Workers and locals in West Kordofan closed the Canar oil field to demand better conditions.

On Sunday, the Workers Union branch of the Khashm El Girba Hospital in Kassala gave the state Ministry of Health 24 hours to dismiss the director of the hospital, threatening to go on strike within 48 hours if the dismissal does not happen.

It is still unclear whether the director was indeed dismissed.

In a statement on Sunday, the staff hold the director responsible for the deterioration of health and medical performance and patient care.

The medics highlighted the heightened tensions in the hospital due to the deterioration of care quality and expressed their fears of entering into disputes with and being assaulted by the relatives of patients if the conditions will not improve soon.

In El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, all hospitals and health centres remained closed as staff remained on strike for the fourth week in a row.

Member of the North Darfur Employees Protest Committee Abubakar Omar confirmed no solutions or promises were offered by the state government. Instead, the state government tried to demonise the committee, he said.

He explained that the committee will continue its strike until the government fulfils the overdue payment of all monthly dues according to the new 2022 salary structure, the two Eid grants, and the infection allowance for health cadres.

Sudan strikes

Earlier this month, Radio Dabanga reported on the large number of medical staff workers' groups on strike in Sudan. Strikes have become increasingly common in recent months, especially around the 2022 salary structure.

New 2022 salaries were meant to provide increased wages amidst Sudan's rising inflation. Despite being more than halfway through the year, many workers are still paid their old salaries instead of the increased 2022 wage.

However, strikes are also taking place around mismanagement and working conditions.

Canar oil field strike

Protesters closed the Canar oil field in Abyei in West Kordofan on Sunday to demand the development of the area and improved working conditions for the local communities.

Engineer Habib Debba told Radio Dabanga that a group of non-contracted workers at the oil field and residents of the area south of Muglad blocked the entrance to the Canar oil field.

They demand the development of the area to improve infrastructure and health and education services. They also demand the provision of more and cleaner drinking water.

The protesters also demand improved working conditions. They will open the oil field as soon as their demands have been met.

Displaced protest

The sit-in by residents of the Zamzam camp for internally displaced people in North Darfur, continued for its third consecutive day yesterday, blocking the road between El Fasher and Nyala. They demand increased security and better basic services to address the dire living conditions at the camp.

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