Egyptian truck drivers stuck in Sudan return to Egypt

Zeinab El-Gundy , Friday 18 Feb 2022

Egyptian trucks began returning to Egypt on Wednesday after being blockaded on Sudan’s Northern Highway for more than two weeks by protesting farmers, General Union of Transport Workers and Services (GUTWS) confirmed to Ahram Online on Friday.

File photo: Hundreds of Egyptian trucks lining up on the highway between Egypt and Sudan (Photos courtesy of General Union of Transport Workers and Services)

The crisis began to end when Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council announced on Monday that it would postpone the decision over new electricity tariffs till April.

The council originally decided to raise electricity prices three weeks ago as part of an economic reform plan, but it was met by huge public opposition, especially from farmers in Sudan’s Northern State.

According to the farmers, the decision threatens their livelihood, as they cannot handle more expenses in hard economic times.

At least 1,500 Egyptian drivers and their trucks found themselves stuck on Sudan’s Northern Highway, a major trade route between the two countries, when Sudanese farmers protesting the decision set up more than 10 makeshift blockades known as “Trus” on the road.

After two weeks of protest, Egyptian trucks carrying goods from Egypt to Sudan were allowed to return after emptying their cargo.

Throughout the protest, the farmers had been allowing buses and cars carrying passengers to pass freely between the two countries.

The GUTWS issued a warning to Egyptian truck drivers to avoid Sudan for the current time.

On Thursday, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Sudan’s Finance Minister Gebreil Ibrahim met in Cairo to discuss ways of speeding up the increase in electrical linkage capacity between the two countries to 300 megawatts, according to an official statements from both countries.

Egypt and Sudan signed a contract increasing the electrical linkage capacity from 80 to 300 megawatts in March 2021.

Shaker and Ibrahim also discussed the possibility over the summer of lending Sudan mobile turbines to increase generating capacity.

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