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Sudan security forces tighten grip on fuel, goods

Security forces guarding a bus station in Central Darfur (file photo)
Security forces guarding a bus station in Central Darfur (file photo)

Security forces in Delling, South Kordofan, have tightened the control on goods taken out of the town. Farmers have staged repeated protests at the security service’s offices in eastern Sudan, to obtain fuel.

A resident told Radio Dabanga that members of the security and intelligence service (NISS) have tightened control over the southern and western countryside of Delling.

“Agents are preventing us from buying enough goods from the city market. In some cases they have consifacted them under the pretext that people try to smuggle them into the areas under the control of the armed movements.”

In Kadugli, the price of a kilogram of sugar has risen from 25 to 35 Sudanese Pound ($0.88 to $1.24*), a listener reported. The ongoing fuel shortage in the area has caused a rise in bus tickets from Kadugli to El Obeid in North Kordofan, to SGD600 ($21.31) per ticket. A bus ride from Kadugli to Aldling now costs SDG250 ($8.88).

Farmers protest

On Thursday, a large group of farmers in El Gedaref town in eastern Sudan gathered in front of the building of the NISS and voiced their criticism on the shortage of diesel that threatenes the preparation for the upcoming agricultural season.

A farmer at the protest told Radio Dabanga that they have been coming to the office of the NISS daily in the hopes to obtain diesel from the security service. “The NISS has been supplying limited amounts of diesel to us. It is insufficient to complete prepararations for the agricultural season.”

Agricultural workers are concerned that the lack of diesel would lead to a delayed preparation, which then would affect crop productivity. From March until May the land had to be prepared for growing crops such as sorghum, groundnuts, and vegetables.

Farmers of El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme are warning for “famine in the country”, as they doubt the upcoming farming season will bring about any yields. Their expectations have worsened during the fuel crisis.

Drinking water shortage

El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, has gone through a drinking water shortage the last couple of days. A lawyer in the city told Radio Dabanga that the price of a barrel of water ranges from SDG 30 ($1.06) to SDG 100 ($3.55).

“The price depends on the distance the vendors had to cover to reach certain water sources,” the lawyer explained. As nearby water sources dry up, the distance to obtain water elsewhere increases. Without fuel, this has become an even harder challenge.

The lawyer also pointed to the continuing problems in the transportation sector in El Fasher, owing to the fuel crisis. A taxi fare has more than doubled to SDG50 ($1.77). “Residents are now taking any means of transportation to get around here.”

Fuel crisis campaign

This week the opposition’s Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) launches a campaign in Khartoum state to inform Sudanese people of the causes of the fuel crisis that has impacted sectors and households in Sudan.

The campaign, entitled ‘Fuel Crisis or Nation Crisis’, started with the distribution of leaflets to bus drivers in Karari. Noureldin Salaheldin, the head of the SCP in Khartoum state told Radio Dabanga that the leaflets analyse the fuel shortages in the country.

“The campaign will be held in all localities of Khartoum. We will distribute publications and hold symposiums.” Salaheldin warned of the effects of the current fuel crisis on the agricultural and livestock sectors, in addition to its impact on residents of Khartoum state. Impact can already be seen, according to Salaheldin, in the continued queues of vehicles in front of fuel stations.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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