Sudan violence hits stagnating economy.


Sudan’s conflict has damaged the Khartoum economy, interrupted internal trade lines, jeopardized imports, and produced a cash crisis.

Across the capital, factories, banks, shops, and markets have been looted or damaged, power and water supplies have been disrupted, and residents have reported steep price increases and shortages of basic necessities.

Sudan’s economy has remained stagnating since the late years of Omar al-Bashir’s presidency, and there has been instability since his dismissal in 2019.

Tens of thousands of people have fled Khartoum and its sister cities, Bahri and Omdurman, while millions have remained at home to escape bombing and air strikes.

Troops and gangs cause delays in commodity and passenger transportation. Some claim that telecom networks ration food and water due to unreliability.

We are concerned about rising costs, scarcity, and poor earnings. Ismail Elhassan, a Khartoum employee, described the situation as a “war on citizens.”

Sudan, which exports gum Arabic, sesame, peanuts, and cattle, has the potential to become a major agricultural exporter and logistical hub.

For decades, sanctions, isolation, and corruption have hindered the economy. Most Sudanese have been subjected to years of inflation, currency depreciation, and deteriorating living circumstances. Humanitarian aid helps 30% of the world’s 46 million people.

The fighting has impeded commerce in and out of Sudan since Khartoum centralized banking and customs. Despite the operation of the Red Sea port, Maersk, a major shipping corporation, has halted reservations.

According to one Khartoum merchant, wheat imports, which are critical to Sudan’s food security, are getting more difficult. According to Alaa Ezz, secretary general of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, imports of white goods such as freezers across the land border with Egypt, where tens of thousands of Sudanese have relocated north, have ceased.

According to Michel Sidhom, a trade business in Egypt and Sudan’s supply chain manager, shipments of Egyptian fertilizers and wheat, which average 10,000 tonnes per month, have “completely stopped” in Sudan.

Egypt, Sudan’s second-largest cattle export destination, is diversifying its sources as a result of the unrest.

Sudanese businessmen, according to Sidhom, have departed Khartoum, and no truckers will risk delivering their goods to the capital city.

They left Khartoum. “Khartoum is a war zone,” he pointed out.

Khartoum has suffered price increases as well as wheat and vegetable shortages. Long lineups form outside the capital’s bakeries and businesses.

The price of a kilogram of lamb has increased by nearly 30% to 4,500 pounds ($7.52), while the price of tomatoes has tripled to 1,000 pounds ($1.67).

The proprietor of an Omdurman business blamed increased black market fuel prices for inflation. A gallon of rare gasoline used to cost 2,000 pounds ($3.34), but now costs 40,000 pounds ($67).

Even after fighting, according to one Omdurman butcher, demand is minimal. “Everyone has gone,” he said.

Sudan’s pound has fallen 600% against the dollar since 2018, leading many people to save money.

Khartoum merchants are cash-strapped and increasingly depend on Bankak, a frequently crashing electronic wallet application, to pay expenditures.

Relatives in the nation purchase dollars for safekeeping while relatives outside sell dollars for Bankak transfers, distorting the underground market.

Currency merchants sell dollars at 700 pounds ($1.17) and purchase at 300 pounds ($0.5014) when transportation and communication grow more difficult.

Sudan’s central bank said on Sunday that banks outside of the capital were accepting withdrawals and deposits. The army and the RSF have both accused each other of robbing Khartoum’s banks. The CEO of one Khartoum bank hinted that the bank’s headquarters will be temporarily relocated outside of the city.

After years of economic reforms, coups, and uprisings, “this is the biggest challenge to face the banking system, and threatens an almost complete shutdown,” according to another CEO.

Atbara, northeast of Khartoum, experienced long lines outside banks with withdrawal limits.

“My cash has run out because I haven’t received my salary, and the banking apps don’t work,” Khartoum’s Elhassan said.


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