Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sudanese Opposition Call to Resist Price Increase
July 29, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition forces have called for general mobilization to resist the anticipated increase in the price of water, electricity and bread.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the “Sudan Call” forces announced its rejection to the increase in electricity and water prices which are expected to be approved by the parliament soon.

Sudan’s minister of water resources and electricity, Muataz Musa, on Friday said that increase in the price of electricity is inevitable. Also, the water corporation said it would increase the price of water by %100.

Sudan has a 40% electricity shortage and as of late the capital Khartoum has been plagued with power outages which have also exacerbated water cuts.

The opposition statement has attributed the deteriorating living condition and economic meltdown to corruption, lack of production policies, reliance on oil and lack of economic reform vision following the secession of South Sudan.

Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves after the southern part of the country became an independent nation in July 2011, denying the north billions of dollars in revenues. Oil revenue constituted more than half of Sudan’s revenue and 90% of its exports.

The “Sudan Call” forces said that the extravagant spending on the security and sovereign sectors besides the cost of civil wars has led to an unprecedented deterioration in the living conditions of the Sudanese people in both rural and urban areas.

It added that the deterioration affected peoples’ daily needs from food, health, education and security.

The Sudanese pound lost 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession. One US dollar is now trading at 9.6 Sudanese pounds (SDG) in the black market. The official exchange rate is around 5.7 pounds to the dollar.

The statement accused the government of mismanaging the services sector in the country, pointing to the lack of spending and incompetent workforce.

It warned that the 100% increase in the price of water and electricity would raise the general price level, adding that the recent government decision to increase the price of the US dollar for import of wheat would either raise the price of bread or reduce its weight.

“The services and economic crises and impoverishment policies would continue as long as this regime is sticking to power and the only available solution for the [political] forces that are keen on the future of Sudan is to work hard to change the regime,” the statement reads.

It added that the “Sudan Call” forces declares the general mobilization and urges all civil and political forces to mobilize the masses to resist the increase in the price of goods and services.

It should be mentioned that the “Sudan Call” forces include the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), National Umma Party (NUP) and the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF).

In September 2013, protests erupted in Sudan’s major towns following an announcement by the government that it was reducing subsidies on fuel and other basic commodities, leading to calls for regime change.

At least 200 protesters died, 15 of them children and more than 800 others have been detained.


No comments: