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Flour and fuel shortages continue in Sudan amid unrest

October 2 - 2020 KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN / DEIM EL MUSHEIHA / WAD MADANI / SUAKIN
People use personal items to reserve their place in the line for the bakery in the outskirts of the city of Port Sudan on October 1 (Social media)
People use personal items to reserve their place in the line for the bakery in the outskirts of the city of Port Sudan on October 1 (Social media)

Severe shortages of flour and fuel continue in various parts of Sudan, as protests against economic conditions in the country continue and new actions take place.

Radio Dabanga reported yesterday that economic sources attribute the new bread crisis to the government's failure to pay its debts, amounting to $20 million, to the flour mills in the country. For this reason, many bakeries have not received their full share of flour for two weeks.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Trade confirmed the bread crisis is due to the inability of the Ministry of Finance to pay the mills' money. In a statement yesterday, he said that the daily ration of flour for bakeries in Khartoum has been reduced by 50 per cent.

Last week, a member of the bakeries steering committee said that municipal bakeries’ share decreased to 7-12 sacks within three days, while state bakeries' share decreased to between 10-20 sacks.

Bread protests

Members of Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods of Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, continued to escalate activities with a protest vigil in front of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, denouncing the new reduction of the state’s daily quota of flour by 1,000 (100kg) sacks.

They are demanding the dismissal of the head of the Economic Committee.

Protesters from the village of Deim El Musheiha closed the highway connecting Sennar and El Gezira on Wednesday to protest the increase of the price of commercial bread to SDG10*.

In Wad Madani in El Gezira yesterday, members of the Resistance Committees organised a demonstration demanding the provision of bread and other basic commodities. They also demanded care for the people's livelihoods, the dismissal of corrupt directors of the state ministries, and the restructuring of the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Empowerment Committee*.

The anti-corruption committee announced on September 20 that branches have been formed in 15 of Sudan’s 18 states.

The Governor of the Red Sea, Abdallah Shankarai, has instructed the formation of a committee to oversee distribution of flour, fuel, and other strategic commodities to curb the smuggling of goods to neighbouring countries.

The town of Suakin has been witnessing a severe crisis in drinking water for days.

Journalist Mohamed Osheik told Radio Dabanga that the commercial price of two buckets of water in Suakin jumped, on Thursday, from SDG50 pounds to SDG120.

He said that some people are resorting to salt water, that is sold for SDG80 per yoke.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.0000 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS). At the parallel market in Khartoum, the greenback is selling for around SDG250 (a record height of SDG260 was reported on September 10).

** The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was formed in November 2019 after the transitional government approved a law to dismantle the institutions set-up by the regime of Omar Al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP). Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.


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