An overladen vessel, Al Badri 1, loaded with thousands of sheep sunk on Sunday off the coast of Sudan’s Red Sea. The animals drowned but the crew members survived.
The livestock vessel had set sail from Sudan’s Suakin port toward Saudi Arabia when it started facing issues in the waters of the Red Sea.
A senior Sudanese port official mentioned that the vessel had sunk in the early hours on Sunday. It was loaded with 15,800 sheep beyond its limits. Another official raised concerns over the environmental and economic impact of the accident.
The official said that the sunken vessel will affect the operation of the ports.
Last month, a fire reportedly broke out in the cargo area at Suakin port. It lasted for hours and caused significant damage. It was, however, not clear what had caused the blaze.
An examination is being conducted to find out the cause of the fire but is yet to release its findings.
المصدر صحيفة السوداني pic.twitter.com/66XbSNVjR5
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The iconic port town of Suakin is no more Sudan’s primary foreign trade hub, a role taken over by Port Sudan, nearly 60 kilometers away and along the coast of the Red Sea.
There have been attempts to redevelop the port. However, a deal made in 2017 with Turkey for expanding docks and restoring major historic buildings was postponed following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, the longtime president.
Sudan continues to grapple with chronic economic challenges, which has intensified after the military coup spearheaded last year by the army’s Chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
This military takeover had resulted in punitive measures like aid cuts by some of the Western governments that demanded restoration of transitional administration installed when Bashir had toppled.
References: Hindustan Times, Bloomberg, Pragativadi, Daily Sabah