NorthStandard and West P&I Club report that due to civil conflict in Sudan, disruption to port operations has been occurring.
ccording to club correspondents, the fighting is currently centered in and around Khartoum. The current skirmishes between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army in Khartoum appear to have expanded to Port Sudan, with gunshots heard there. Port Sudan is quieter in comparison, and despite the fact that it was closed on 17 April, port activities resumed on 18 April, and roads were reopened.
NorthStandrard advised to contact local agents for the latest advice should you have a vessel trading to Sudan. West P&I Club advised that any Member planning to call at or with ships in transit toward ports in Sudan contact their local protective agency to obtain the latest information on the situation and status of maritime operations. Furthermore, the Members can utilize the Club’s local correspondent network to provide any assistance and information required.
Tensions have been high between different military factions since the ouster of previous dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The country was taken over by the military, and recent efforts to shift to a civilian-led government have failed. The warring military factions are the Sudanese armed forces, led by their general, the country’s de facto ruler, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a group of paramilitaries.
According to West P&I Club, The Port of Port Sudan is the country’s primary seaport, strategically placed on the Red Sea coast, and serves as an important hub for trade between Sudan and other regional countries. Around 90% of the country’s exports and imports, including oil, gold, and other minerals, are handled via the port. Furthermore, the port handles goods carried across land borders with neighboring nations like Ethiopia and South Sudan.
As a result, the ongoing clashes between the RSF and the army over the distribution of power and resources within the government will almost certainly cause significant setbacks for shipping companies and importers/exporters, the Sudanese economy, and the humanitarian situation in Sudan.