Sudan Approves Ban on Farm and Animal Imports from Egypt

Sudan’s cabinet has approved a ban on imports of agricultural and animal products from Egypt, according to Sudan’s state news agency SUNA.

The ban came days after Sudan’s FM Ibrahim Ghandour had cancelled his planned trip to Egypt.

The cabinet also urged the private sector to import products directly from countries of origin, bypassing neighboring Egypt.

Ghandour was supposed to travel to Cairo on Wednesday 31 May for follow-up talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on contentious issues discussed last April in Khartoum between the two officials.

The 31 May meeting between Ghandour and Shoukry was supposed to discuss the ban on Egyptian agricultural imports and visa requirements after the Sudanese government decision to re-establish visa for Egyptians.

Growing tension between Egypt and Sudan has led to mounting trade restrictions between the two countries. Sudan banned all Egyptian agricultural goods last March.

Sudan accuses Egypt of supporting Darfur armed groups.

In a speech to Sudanese military personnel last week, Bashir said the army had seized Egyptian armored vehicles from rebels in the country’s war-torn southern Darfur region.

The Egyptian authorities dismissed the Sudanese accusations of support to Darfur armed groups. But Khartoum points to the armored vehicles seized from the rebels, a matter that Cairo didn’t explain.

Sudan also accused Egypt’s United Nations representative of supporting calls to extend international sanctions against Khartoum, which Cairo denied.

On the other hand, Egypt also criticized Sudan for backing Ethiopia in the construction of the Renaissance dam on the Nile which Egypt fears will affect its historical water shares.

Also, the Sudanese government recently signed investment agreements with Gulf countries where they will establish huge agricultural projects that require the full use of Sudan share in the Nile water, a move which is seen in Cairo as another threat to its water national security.