Sudan’s oil minister Gadein Ali Obeid said says protesters blocked two key oil pipelines in Port Sudan, the main seaport on the Red Sea, over a peace deal with rebel groups.
Ali Obeid told Newsmen that one pipeline transports oil exports from South Sudan while the other provide Sudan with crude imports and warned of “an extremely grave situation.
Last year, several rebel groups signed a landmark accord with Sudan’s transitional government which came to power shortly after the April 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
Port Sudan is the country’s main seaport and a vital trade hub for its crippled economy dependent on exports.
The Khartoum government receives around $25 for every barrel of oil sold from South Sudan, according to official figures.
South Sudan produces around 162,000 barrels a day. It is transported via pipelines to Port Sudan and then shipped to global markets.
On Friday, demonstrators blocked the entrance to the airport and a bridge linking Kassala State in the east with the rest of the country.
The unrest comes as Sudan grapples with deep economic woes left in the wake of Bashir’s ouster, whose three-decade iron-fisted rule was marked by prolonged US sanctions.
The demonstrations also come a week after the administration of embattled Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said it had thwarted a failed coup attempt.