After more than eight years of suspension, the While Nile State Governor Haider Ali al-Tarifi and Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beazley, saw the departure of three barges carrying food supplies down the River Nile to South Sudan.
Beazley who is visiting Sudan was in Kosti to attend this “historic event” saw the “three WFP-contracted barges loading 4,500 tons of food procured locally in Sudan. They then sailed upriver to the South Sudanese towns of Renk, Malakal and Bor,” said the WFP.
The 4500 tons of food are enough to feed 370,000 people for one month.
The resumption of river transport confirms the depth and strength of brotherly relations between the two peoples and contributes to achieving food security, he said.
The river transport of humanitarian goods between Sudan and South Sudan largely stopped when the border closed after South Sudan’s independence in 2011. At the time Sudan accused Juba of supporting the SPLM-N rebels.
Ali Ismail Ali, director of the Nile River Transport Company in Kosti confirmed the company’s readiness to transport all food and goods whether for relief or commercial purposes.
He pointed out that the company has a large potential consisting of seventeen barges and 70 cargo ships for goods and petroleum products to cover the needs of transport between the two countries.
He added that the resumption of river transport operations began two trips every three days with an estimated tonnage of 170 tons.
He expected that the Nile River Transport Company will transport 100 thousand tons of cargo and petroleum products and the transportation of passengers.