V. THE SHAMBLES THAT PASSES FOR THE “SUDANESE ECONOMY” CONTINUES ITS FREE-FALL
Eric Reeves | December 18, 2016 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Zp
This collapse comes in large part because the NIF/NCP regime continues to act as a kleptocracy (http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/enough-forum-release-kleptocracy-khartoum/).
As a consequences, it has failed for almost three decades to address critical issues facing the Sudanese economy—particularly lack of employment, the failing agricultural sector, which should be central in the economy and longstanding infrastructure needs.
The result is large-scale unemployment and under-employment; raging inflation; an almost total lack of Foreign Exchange Currency (Forex) with which to purchase essential imports—including wheat for bread, refined petroleum products (including cooking oil) and critical medicines; rampant water shortages because of infrastructure decay; and a massive, unserviceably external debt now exceeding $50 billion—due largely to profligate military expenditures and obscene salary payments to the military, the security services, and the various paramilitary forces the regime controls, including the Rapid Support Forces and the Popular Defense Forces.
Al-Bashir calls the recently imposed “austerity” measures the source of coming “hard times”; the reality is that the people of Sudan are angry, despairing, and ready to do what is necessary to remove the regime that has inflicted all this upon them:
Leaked Audio: Sudan’s Bashir warns of hard days to come
Sudan Tribune | November 4, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has warned the members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of hard days to come due to the planned government policies to liberalize the prices of commodities and scrapping subsidies, according to a leaked audio recording. Social media users have widely shared a leaked audio for al-Bashir speech before the NCP Shura Council members last week.
On Thursday, Sudanese government scrapped fuel subsidies and increased electricity price in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and control the collapse of Sudanese pound in the black market. “Sudan would face hard times in the coming period due to scrapping commodities subsidies that would lead to commodities prices hiking,” said al-Bashir, while the members of the ruling party consultation meeting heard chanting slogans. Al-Bashir pointed that scrapping commodities subsidies is an economic necessity and a beginning to implement the reform process. Security forces were deployed in Khartoum streets on Friday the first day after of fuel prices increase, to control any protests against the unpopular austerity measures.
Number of school drop-outs on the rise in Sudan capital | Radio Dabanga | December 18, 2016 | OMDURMAN
Teachers strike in North Darfur’s Saraf Omra | Radio Dabanga | December 18, 2016 | SARAF OMRA
Economic measures see inflation jump in Darfur, Sudan | Radio Dabanga | December 15, 2016 | KHARTOUM
Schools closed by teachers’ strike in West Kordofan | Radio Dabanga | December 13, 2016 | ABU ZABAD / EL TADAMON
Water depletion in Sudan’s agricultural scheme | Radio Dabanga | December 13, 2016 | EL GEZIRA / EL GEDAREF
Saudi Arabia investors complain of difficulties in Sudan | Sudan Tribune | December 11, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – A group of investors from Saudi Arabia on Sunday have complained of difficulties facing over 500 projects in Sudan. On Sunday, the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Khartoum has opened a liaison office to follow (…)
Sudan’s deficit grows to SDG19.5 billion: Finance Minister | Radio Dabanga | December 9, 2016 | KHARTOUM
[Not to be confused with external debt—ER]
On Tuesday the Finance Minister, Badreldin Mahmoud Abbas, said that the deficit in the state budget for 2017 will rise to SDG19.5 billion, from the SDG13.3 billion deficit in 2016. New salary increases are not commensurate with the recent rise in fuel and commodity prices, employees complained.’
Economists have attributed the growing budget deficit (in 2014, it was SDG12 billion) to the rise of spending by the government, as well as the slack in the state administration, larger spending on the military and security sector, the wars, the collapse of the production infrastructure for in Sudan, and the non-availability of cash reserves [Forex].
Flour shortage affects bakeries in Sudan capital | Radio Dabanga | December 9, 2016 | KHARTOUM
Sudan Govt.: 15% deficit in flour production | Radio Dabanga | December 8, 2016 | KHARTOUM
[This is an extremely threatening development, and more evidence of just how severe the shortages in Forex has become–ER]
Darfur markets feeling economic pinch | Radio Dabanga | December 8, 2016 | DARFUR
Auditor-General reports fraud throughout Sudan | Radio Dabanga | December 6, 2016| KHARTOUM
Sudan’s austerity measures reduce budget deficit: ruling party | Sudan Tribune | December 5, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Monday said that the recent drastic economic measures have helped reducing the budget deficit from 5 to 1 per cent of the total national income. A vendor (…)
Transport crisis developing in Sudan capital | Radio Dabanga | December 5, 2016 | KHARTOUM
Sudan: El Gezira Scheme mortgaged for millions of pounds | Radio Dabanga | December 5, 2016 | WAD MADANI
Winter crops threatened in Sudan’s El Gezira | Radio Dabanga | December 4, 2016 | EL GEZIRA
Sudanese pharmacists to go on partial strike on Thursday | Sudan Tribune | November 30, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The Central Committee of the Sudanese Pharmacists (CCSP) said it would go on a partial strike and organize a protest on Thursday to reject drug price increase and demand release of its detained members…
Schools students protest against price hikes in N. Darfur | Sudan Tribune | November 27, 2016 (EL-FASHER) – Students at four high schools in El-Fasher, North Darfur capital on Sunday have staged a demonstration to protest against the high cost of living and recent increase in drug price. A police source told (…)
U.S. dollar skyrockets as Sudanese security hunt down currency traders | Sudan Tribune | November 23, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar on Wednesday went up to 19,00 Sudanese pound (SDG) in the black market as security services launches large arrest campaign against currency traders.
[This is the most telling sign that there is no hard currency in the Central Bank of Sudan, and that imports will as a consequence become even more difficult; it also augurs for much higher inflation, which is already running much higher than the figure promulgated by the Central Bureau of Statistics…essentially an extension of the regime’s propaganda apparatus–ER]
Sudanese police disperse women demonstration against price hikes | Sudan Tribune | November 20, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Dozens of Sudanese women on Sunday have staged a demonstration in the capital, Khartoum against government’s decision to raise fuel, electricity and drug prices before they were dispersed by police and security services
Sudanese security arrests another doctor as strike continues | Sudan Tribune | November 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The independent doctors union, Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) on Friday said the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has arrested another doctor describing its renewed strike (…)
Sudanese pharmacies go on strike over drug price hike | Sudan Tribune | | November 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Two hundred private pharmacies in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum have decided to go on partial strike and close their doors on Saturday to protest against recent foreign exchange policy by the Central (…)
Sudanese doctors increase the number of strike days | Sudan Tribune | November 13, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The independent doctors union, Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) on Saturday announced it would go on a three-day strike every week instead of two days saying the Health Ministry has ignored (…)
Sudan’s striking doctors campaign to free fellow detainees | Sudan Tribune | November 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) announced on Tuesday they have initiated an intensive campaign, with the support of many groups, to pressure the authorities to free the detained doctors. On 6 (…)
Amnesty International urges Sudan to release detained doctors | Sudan Tribune | November 8, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Amnesty International on Tuesday urged the Sudanese government to release ten doctors recently arrested and to halt security summons to the striking members of the independent doctors union, Central (…)
[The arrest of Sudanese doctors is a classic case of “shooting the messenger” rather than heeding the message, namely that medical care in Sudan is massively under-funded except for those who are well-connected. It has hardly surprising that well over half of Sudan’s doctors wish to emigrate–ER]
Protests continue in various Sudanese cities against austerity measures | Sudan Tribune | November 7, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Small-scale protests continued for a second day on Monday in several places in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum and elsewhere against government’s decision to lift fuel and electricity subsidies. Sudanese (…)