March 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Khartoum International Airport (KIA) has witnessed a state of utter chaos and confusion following a strike by the security personnel which affected scheduled flight arrival and departure times for several hours.
- FILE - Planes are seen on the tarmac in Khartoum’s international airport September 13, 2012 (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdalla)
The security staff staged a sit-in for 8 hours and disabled safety devices in protest of the KIA administration’s decision to hire a private company to run the security work at the airport.
An official source within KIA told Sudan Tribune that the administration hired Al-Hadaf company to run the security work and directed them to guard the outer gates as of Saturday, saying old security personnel withdrew completely and disabled safety devices which led to a halt in air traffic for 8 hours.
Eyewitnesses affirmed that scuffles and altercations took place between old and new security personnel, pointing the KIA administration expressed regret for what it described as irresponsible conduct by some internal security personnel.
According to a statement issued by KIA, some security personnel rioted in order to stop flights and air traffic at the airport, saying the administration took the necessary arrangement to restore air traffic in coordination with the security apparatus.
It pointed that security personnel work includes operating baggage-screening machines, securing safety regulations, and securing aircrafts before taking off not guarding airport’s entrance gates.
Meanwhile, security personnel at the general directorate of aviation security at the airport issued a statement announcing partial suspension of work besides handing over airport’s custody to the airport director.