Beja ex-combatants attempt suicide in Port Sudan


Two demobilised Beja Congress combatants on Sunday attempted to commit suicide inside the Red Sea State’s government premises in Port Sudan, in protest against the state government’s negligence of their living conditions.

The Eastern Front, including the Beja Congress, signed the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) with the Sudanese government in October 2006. The ESPA stipulates the integration of former Beja Congress fighters into civil and military services, which has not been implemented so far.

“Adam Mohamed Ali and Mohammad Ali Shagai poured combustible liquid on their clothes, and announced that they wanted to commit suicide, to deliver a message to the Red Sea State authorities expressing the injustice done to the demobilised combatants of the Beja Congress”, an eyewitness reported to Radio Dabanga. “Fortunately, we managed to prevent them from igniting themselves.”

The Red Sea State recently witnessed several protests by demobilised forces of the Beja Congress. One of them threw a hand grenade in a veterinary clinic in Sawakin, neighbouring Port Sudan, two weeks ago. End July, they occupied the premises of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Port Sudan, calling for the full implementation of the peace agreement.

The chairman of the Committee of Beja Congress Ex-Combatants in the Red Sea State, Omar Hashem, commented to Radio Dabanga that the demobilised fighters do not have an income, and “suffer to meet the most basic needs of life”. “Their circumstances grow worse every day, as prices of basic commodities are soaring.”

File photo: Eastern Front troops in 2007 (Christopher Milner/Pulitzer Center)

Related: Beja veterans occupy ruling party’s office in Port Sudan (28 July 2014)

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