FILE - Many parts of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and other regional towns are starting to witness shortage of bread coupled with a price increase.
CAIRO – 6 January 2018: Amid a decline in the Sudanese economy, bread prices have doubled due to a government ban on the private sector importing wheat.
Protests against the recent changes sparked outside bakery shops in Khartoom after the opposition party encouraged peaceful protests from their followers, Reuters reported.
Many parts of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and other regional towns have started to witness both a shortage of bread and price increases for the stock available.
Citizens interviewed by Sudan Tribune in Khartoum complained that the price of bread and many other basic food commodities has gone up in the last few days. They stated that they had to stand in long queues on Monday to buy bread. Bread is an essential part of the standard Sudanese diet.
In 2011, South Sudan’s secession from the North weakened their economy as 75 percent of Sudan’s oil production was based in the south. Moreover, Sudan has been suffering since sanctions were first imposed against them in 1997 after the U.S. classified Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism for allowing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to live in Khartoum. Further sanctions were added in reaction to allegations of human rights abuses carried out by government forces against ethnic minority rebels in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. However, in October 2016 the U.S. eased the sanctions but kept the country on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
State Minister for Finance Magdi Hassan Yaseen told Reuters late last month that competition between companies importing wheat would prevent such an increase in prices. The government would buy locally produced wheat at "encouraging prices", he stated.
Sudanese Social media users reacted toward the bread crisis; @AbdallaElhillou tweeted, “A groom asks the customs about the possibility of importing bread from outside Sudan, because it would be cheaper, look at how we ended.”