Over 15,000 sheep drown as ship sinks in Sudanese port
An export ship carrying livestock from Sudan to Saudi Arabia sinks, leaving thousands of sheep to drown.
Thousands of sheep drown with sunken Badr 1, an export ship, in the Red Sea port of Suakin, on Sunday. The vessel was exporting livestock from Sudan to Saudi Arabia. According to a Sudanese port official, the ship “was carrying 15,800 sheep.”
Another official said all crew members were rescued, however, this incident will have several economic and environmental consequences. In his statement, he outlined that the sunken ship will “likely have an environmental impact due to the death of the large number of animals carried by the ship”.
The livestock on the ship was valued at approximately $3.7M said Saleh Selim, the head of the association’s livestock division, as he called for an investigation into the accident. The port is already under investigation following a fire that blazed for several hours, and caused damage in the cargo area, earlier this month.
Furthermore, Omar Al-Khalifa, head of the national exporters’ association, said that the ship did not sink quickly. In fact, the ship took several hours to sink at the pier, meaning there was a window that suggested it “could have been rescued”. The animals were loaded on the vessel at the port of Suakin.
Al-Khalifa also added that approximately 700 sheep were rescued “but they were found very ill and we don’t expect them to live long”.
Suakin, Sudan's ancient port town, is no longer the country's primary trade hub; that honor now belongs to Port Sudan, 60 kilometers away along the Red Sea coast. Prior to the ousting of former President Omar Al-Bashir, there was an agreement, signed in 2017, with Turkey for the port’s rehabilitation. However, the political instability and the deposition of former Al-Bashir put that project on hold.
The coup that ousted the former president also marked the beginning of a financial crisis that still looms over Sudan.