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Sudan civil strike ends: 'Major social but little financial impact'

November 30 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Closed shops throughout Khartoum marked the first day of the civil disobedience campaign, that was called for by activists on Sudanese social media with the hashtag #Sudan_Civil_Disobedience (RD)
Closed shops throughout Khartoum marked the first day of the civil disobedience campaign, that was called for by activists on Sudanese social media with the hashtag #Sudan_Civil_Disobedience (RD)

Life in Khartoum has returned to normal after three days of civil disobedience actions. The Sudanese President denied that the strike against the austerity measures in the past days was successful. The actions have had little impact on the stock exchange.

Journalist Ahmed El Sheikh, editor of the independent newspaper El Jareeda told Radio Dabanga that movement of traffic and people continued on the third day of the civil disobedience, Tuesday, almost as normal, although roads were not crowded. Institutions are functioning normally again in the Sudanese capital.

“The experience of the civil disobedience carried out by citizens will have an impact on the future, by a group that has nothing to do with the government or the opposition,” El Sheikh said. “Calls by activists found great response from citizens.”

President Omar Al Bashir has described the civil disobedience campaign as “a failure by 1 million per cent”. “All people were eager to come to work, which witnessed a high attendance rate last Sunday.”

The President acknowledged in a press statement on Tuesday that the “expensive pricing” of medicines, electricity, and fuel in the country, after the recent economic decisions took into effect this month, was “not shocking to the Sudanese citizens, but a slap in the face”. 

Stock exchange

Hassan Bashir, economics professor at El Nilein University, downplayed the impact of the civil disobedience on the stock exchange and stock markets, because the stock markets in Sudan are confined to the Central Bank and state-owned companies.

News spread on social media that the Khartoum stock market lost nearly SDG 370 billion in the first day of the civil disobedience. “It is too early to talk about the impact of the civil disobedience on the country's economy,” Bashir argued.

'Look at the negative impact that civil strikes in neighbouring countries have had on their investments.'

Economic analyst Abdelhadi Abdallah anticipated a negative impact on investments in Sudan following the civil disobedience actions. “Look at the experiences of our neighbouring countries in this regard.”

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a state-owned commercial bank employee found that business has deteriorated in the first two days of the disobedience actions, “by more than half, but improved and returned to normal on the third day”.

Abdallah also downplayed the impact of the strike on foreign exchange rates in the black market, and pointed to the limited impact on the corporate levels and the markets.


The strike in Khartoum resulted in an opposite effect for vegetables and fruits shop owners as they complained of sales that deteriorated more during the days of the strike, in addition to the prices that have increased since the economic measures.

'Youth pioneers'

Writer and activist El Shafee Khidir described the civil disobedience as “a pioneering experience” by the Sudanese youths, to whom the political forces have responded. “The slogans they have raised demonstrate their understanding of the challenges they face in Sudan... a showcase of the genius of the Sudanese people.”

Khidir, speaking in the Radio Dabanga programme Milafat Sudaniya, added that the Sudanese youths “lead a wrenched life with dire concern for their future”.

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