BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Sudan is on the verge of running out of wheat and other essential commodities due to political protests that have closed the Port of Sudan, Reuters reported.
The North African country’s main port has been closed in recent weeks as members of Sudan’s Beja tribes have blocked roads and forced ports along the Red Sea to close, according to Reuters.
The groups have reportedly gathered to protest the region’s lack of political power and poor economic conditions. The government has acknowledged the protesters have “just cause,” but that the closure of the Port of Sudan is harming all Sudanese citizens, according to Reuters.
Because it is not a major grain producer, Sudan is heavily dependent on imported wheat, taking in more than 2 million tonnes per year. It only produces around 700,000 tonnes per year.
Wheat flour is subsidized in Sudan and to sustain the subsidy the government needs 160,000 tonnes of wheat per month, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.