Beja veterans occupy ruling party’s office in Port Sudan
Demobilised Beja Congress fighters on Saturday occupied the premises of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Port Sudan, in protest against the non-implementation of the 2006 Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA). On the same day, police forces raided the market of Port Sudan, as part of a campaign to “clean the city of street vendors”.
On Saturday, former Beja combatants started with a sit-in in front of the headquarters of NCP’s Red Sea State branch, after which they occupied the building. After eight hours, mediators intervened. It was agreed that on 25 August, a meeting will be convened to tackle the still outstanding issues of the peace treaty.
The Eastern Front, including the Beja Congress, signed the ESPA with the Sudanese government in October 2006. The agreement reflected the structure of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with South Sudan of January 2005, and the Darfur Peace Agreement of 2006, featuring power sharing, disarmament, and reintegration of the movement’s armed forces. The chairman of the Beja Congress was awarded with the post of Assistant to President Omar Al Bashir.
The former Beja combatants also protested last year against the delay in their integration into the civil and military services as stipulated in the EASPA. The Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan faction that signed the Doha document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in April 2013 has complained more than once about the “procrastination of the Sudanese government” in implementing the DDPD.
An activist told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan that police forces raided the city’s main market on Saturday, as part of a campaign to “clean the city of street vendors”. They arrested two vendors who resisted, and threw stones at them.
File photo: Eastern Front troops in 2007 (Christopher Milner/Pulitzer Center)
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