‘Sudanese no longer have the means to celebrate Eid El Fitir’
People living in Port Sudan in eastern Sudan had to spend the first day of Eid El Fitr without much drinking water. Kassala is still witnessing an acute lack of fuel. Employees in southern Sudan did not receive their salaries, and the displaced in the Darfur camps continue to suffer from the ongoing impoverishment and insecurity. People in Darfur’s Jebel Marra face continued attacks on the villages.
A resident of Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, told Radio Dabanga on Friday that they are still suffering from a drinking water crisis, despite comments by officials that the provision of water returned to normal.
He said that people had to queue in long lines in order to fetch some drinking water from tankers.
The continuing water crisis sparked demonstrations in various neighbourhoods of the city last week. “In some districts, the authorities fled when angry people confronted them.”
People in neighbouring Kassala are complaining about the continued scarcity of petrol and diesel, while fuel is available again in the rest of the country.
An angry listener phoned this station on Friday, while he was waiting in a long line to obtain his petrol. “The weekly fuel quotas of six gallons a vehicle are far from enough,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Kassala Transport Department limited the weekly distribution of fuel in the state to eight gallons for commercial vehicles and six gallons for private cars.
Employees in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, could not celebrate the end of Ramadan as planned because the payment of their salaries and the Eid grant was delayed.
“For months, we are suffering from acute shortages of wheat, water, electricity, and fuel,” an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture reported. “And now we did not receive our dues as well.”
He said that the South Kordofan state Ministry of Finance had promised them to pay the Eid grant and their June salary in advance. “But we didn’t even receive the grant, so we have not been able to buy any new clothes or presents for our children.”
“The people don’t have the means any more to celebrate Eid El Fitir,” Jagoub Furi, Coordinator-General of the Darfur Camps for the Displaced told Radio Dabanga. “Poverty and hardship are the most prominent features of the displaced in the camps in Darfur.
"This year again, the displaced are celebrating the Eid with much grief, as they still could not return to their villages. People living in villages in Jebel Marra are again prone to attacks by government forces. Tens of thousands of newly displaced are currently hiding in mountain caves or trying to survive in valleys,” he said.
Furi expressed the hope that the displaced will be able to safely return to their places of origin, “after the new settlers are removed from their villages, the government militias are fully disarmed, a secure situation has been reached, and a comprehensive peace realised”.
In a speech on the occasion of Eid El Fitir on Friday, President Omar Al Bashir called on the Sudanese to use the occasion to express their forgiveness and tolerance, to peacefully live together again.
He repeated his call to “the armed opponents outside the country” to return and enter into a peaceful dialogue a way to resolve the differences between them and the government. He stressed that Sudan “is capable to host people of all political and intellectual orientations”.
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