Pound plummets, Sudan parties call for protests
The rate of the Pound against the Dollar has continued to plummet, reaching SDG 29.5 on Monday, amid the surge of the prices of basic goods all over Sudan. Opposition parties have started to rally up people for peaceful demonstrations.
Sudanese economist have warned of the gravity of the deteriorating economic situation. Hafiz Ismael told Radio Dabanga: “The Sudanese people have to bear this deterioration, but they have no reserves.”
Ismael warned that in the event of the inability of the Sudanese government to intervene, this will lead to the loss of the value of the Sudanese currency, and its value on the international market.
A week ago the price of the US Dollar rose above SDG 28 on Sudan’s parallel currency market, shortly after the introduction of the new customs rate of SDG 18. The customs rate was raised in an attempt to fight the increasing hard currency rate at the black market. Meanwhile prices of the main consumer goods doubled or even tripled.
Call for protest
The National Umma Party, headed by Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, called on its followers to lead the uprising and salvation in peaceful demonstrations for change. The choice of uprising, the party said, “is the only option to confront the regime’s recklessness about the will of our people”.
The head of the political bureau of the party, Dr Mohamed El Mahdi Hassan, told Radio Dabanga that they will support peaceful demonstrations in the street. “We warn the regime of confronting the demonstrations with violence,” he said, pointing to the violent oppression of demonstrations against the lifting of oil subsidies in Khartoum in September 2013.
“The right to demonstrate is guaranteed and protected by all international laws and even by the constitution written by the regime.”
The spokesman for the Sudanese Communist Party also rejected the budget of 2018 that has caused the price increases. “The party supports an uprising by all peaceful means against the rise of prices,” said Ali Saeed.
A Sudanese teachers’ committee called on all colleagues in the country to unite and reject the 2018 budget by communicating the demands of workers to the government.
According to the committee’s press statement, the new budget “is a war budget against the citizens in general and the teachers in particular, as the sector with the lowest income. It exposes them and their families to humanity’s double enemies: hunger and disease.”
Just three per cent (SDG 5.326 billion) of the budget is allocated to education. Even less, SDG 2.942 billion, goes to the health sector. Similar to previous annual budgets, it relies on direct and indirect taxes and to cover its deficit. A high percentage of revenue is allocated to the army, security service and paramilitary forces – similarly to the 2017 budget.
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