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Growing discontent over food prices in Darfur

March 18 - 2016 DARFUR
A market in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur (file photo)
A market in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur (file photo)

The rising commodity prices in Darfur are attributable to bad management from the government, people in Sudan's western region claim, as these are “consuming the incomes of vulnerable families”.

A housewife in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, said that the high cost of living has become “an obsession” for families with a low to average income. She added that the city witnesses a lack of job opportunities.

“There are hands that have been involved in controlling the prices of goods,” she told Radio Dabanga. “Because despite the high prices for cooking gas, that amounted to SDG150 ($24.60) for a cylinder, it is not yet available.” The demand for bread in the city has not been appeased for a long time either, she said.

On 25 January, the Sudanese government announced a rise of fuel prices, including a threefold increase in the price of cooking gas, raising the price of cylinders from SDG25 to SDG75 ($12.25). The soaring prices for gas since the price adjustment, and basic commodities have caused many people in Sudan to struggle to obtain food. Long waiting queues in front of bakeries, which now sell smaller pieces of loaves for the same price, are not uncommon.

Ed Daein, Zalingei

People in the capital of East Darfur, Ed Daein, have attributed the rise in commodity prices to the activities of the military in Sudan, “a waste of most of the country's resources”.

One of them said that the increase is caused by the government’s imposition of levies and charges on any goods entering the state. “The people suffer while the government does not care about what is happening to them in East Darfur.”

Prices of goods have risen too in Zalingei in Central Darfur, despite their availability in the city. A resident claimed that security forces in the city are controlling the prices. “The purchasing power of citizens is weak and they have no income to cope with the higher prices.”

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