An estimated 1400 workers went on strike on Monday, February 18, in Port Sudan (Red Sea state), to protest a concession deal reportedly allowing a company from the Philippines to operate the facility. This strike movement comes amid a second consecutive month of nationwide protests to denounce the high cost of living, basic commodities shortages, and government policy.
Further nationwide protests are expected through February 24, in the capital Khartoum and other urban centers. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration site. Clashes between protesters and security forces are possible.
Anti-government protests began on December 19, 2018, as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably Atbara (River Nile state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), Khartoum, and Al-Fashir and Nyala in the Darfur region. Protests initially demanded increased government transparency and improved economic policies but have broadened to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989 and vowed not to step down until at least 2020. Curfews have been implemented in at least eight cities, including Kosti and Rabak (White Nile state), Al-Qadarif, Atbara, Al-Damir and Berber (River Nile state), and Dongola and Karima (Northern state). The Sudanese government has also blocked or limited access to social media sites since December 31, 2018. Continued connectivity and telecommunications disruptions are to be expected in the near term. The government has confirmed the deaths of at least 30 people due to protests, though human rights groups claim as many as 51 people have died and 1000 others have been arrested since the protests began.
Individuals in Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate telecommunications disruptions, adhere to instructions issued by their home government as well as those of the local authorities (including curfew orders), and avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and arrest.
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