Sudan’s economy has entered a melt-down phase
Eric Reeves | December 21, 2017 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2aK
Sudan’s economy has entered a melt-down phase, and civil unrest is bound to follow; it will be met with ferocious repression, already evident in seizure of newspapers publishing economic data and NISS surveillance of fuel stations and bakeries. These are the consequences of decades of gross mismanagement:
• Widespread bread shortages, Sudan fuel crisis halts transport | Radio Dabanga | December 21, 2017 | SUDAN
Khartoum and a number of Sudanese states are experiencing a severe bread and fuel crisis. Transport has ground to a halt leaving many stranded. On Tuesday and Wednesday the main stations of El Shuhada in Omdurman, the central station in Khartoum North (Bahri), the stadium and Jackson in Khartoum were crowded with hundreds of people after the vehicles stopped because of lack of fuel.
Northern State State
Witnesses from Karma in the Northern State said the security services are monitoring the fuel stations and allowing each person to take no more than three gallons. They explained that any quantities more than that must be certified by the security services.
El Gezira State
El Gezira state is experiencing a severe fuel and bread crisis. Residents of Wad Madani told Radio Dabanga about the lack of fuel at most of the city’s fuel stations except for three. They said the vehicles line up in long queues in front of the fuel stations since early morning. Wad Madani is daily witnessing a lack of bread during the evening and the price of a loaf of bread rises outside the bakeries to one Pound by the evening.
Residents of Senga in Sennar have complained of lack of fuel in the stations as a result of the lack of access to the state’s fuel quota. They also complain of the deepening bread crisis in the city during the past two days. They said that the security services limit people from taking more than a few of bread for a family without permission.
South Kordofan State
Abu Jubeiha in South Kordofan is experiencing a severe bread crisis. People said that there is no bread to be found in the bakeries after 10 am. The owners of bakeries attributed the crisis to the fact that the quota of flour given to them by economic security is only three sacks a day.
El Gedaref State
The bread crisis in El Gedaref has entered its second month without finding a solution from the authorities. The residents said they stand in long lines in front of bakeries for hours without getting enough bread. They say that a number of bakeries are closed during day and evening periods because of the reduction of the daily quota of flour.
North Kordofan State
Residents of El Obeid in North Kordofan have renewed their complaint about the worsening of bread crisis. They said they there are no looming signs for resolving the crisis. The press leaders have received instructions by telephone from the security services not to publish any press material on the bread and fuel crisis in many cities of the country.
This is a portrait of an economy in melt-down: two critical commodities—bread and fuel—are unavailable because the Khartoum regime has so badly mismanaged the economy, including the agricultural sector, that there is no enough hard currency, foreign exchange currency (Forex), to purchase imports of flour and refined petroleum products, including diesel fuel.
The regime made developed no significant domestic refining capacity during the years it was flush with petro-dollars (1999 – 2011); it has allowed the agricultural sector of the economy to decay so that instead of being a net exporter of agricultural products, Sudan is a net importer especially of wheat for flour to make into bread, now in such short supply.
Mismanagement, misplaced priorities, and fantastically gross self-enrichment have left ordinary people of Sudan without a critical food item or the ability to move within and between cities. Essential medicines are unavailable as well. The absurdity of blaming U.S. economic sanctions for the crisis is coming fully into focus, despite the foolish and ignorant pronouncements by the UN, IMF, and others.
And yet if the U.S. State Department lifts the designation of Khartoum as a “state sponsor of terrorism” this May, Khartoum will become eligible for international debt relief: Sudan’s external debt now exceeds $50 billion and cannot be serviced, let alone repaid, by the regime amidst its current self-inflicted economic crisis. Past history makes clear that debt relief will be little more than a tool for accelerated self-enrichment by the regime and its cronies.