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Dockers blockade Port Sudan in anti-privatisation action

DOCKERS continued a blockade of Port Sudan on the Red Sea yesterday, appealing for international solidarity with their action.

The port is Sudan’s largest, with its docks employing 5,000 permanent staff and another 30,000 casual workers.

The industrial action is aimed at preventing the privatisation of the city’s largest facility, the South Port, and its sale to Philippines-registered firm ICTS.

Striking dockers say much of the €410 million (£357m) ICTS paid for the port has not been transferred to the exchequer and fear that it has been pocketed by corrupt officials of the Omar al-Bashir regime, which has been rocked by massive pro-democracy protests for months and has responded with a brutal crackdown leaving scores dead.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and Sudanese Communist Party spokesman Fathi Alfadl, himself jailed for five weeks but released on February 14, has expressed his “deep thanks and gratitude” for solidarity actions around the world that helped secure his freedom. But he warned that many more were still behind bars.

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