Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

27 November 2012

Sudan: Minister Attributes Fuel Shortage to Security Reasons

Photo: Albert González Farran/UN
Distributing water (file photo): Fuel prices have gone up in the states of West and South Darfur, causing a transport crisis and scarcity of electricity and water.

Khartoum — The Sudanese National Assembly overwhelmingly rejected the arguments provided by the minister of electricity explaining the causes of the constant power and fuel shortages South Darfur has been witnessing, on Monday 26 November, Radio Dabanga was informed.

Minister of Electricity Osama Abdullah attributed the scarcity of fuel and consequent energy cuts in Nyala and in the rest of South Darfur to 'security reasons'. He affirmed that there are criminal groups and other parties interested in delaying the arrival of fuel to the state.

As a result of the national assembly's rejection to the minister's explanation, the parliament formed a committee to investigate the cause of these problems. They will reportedly question parties who may have any responsibility over these issues, including the ministries of transport, oil and interior.

Security in Darfur

Abdullah also told the parliament that, because of security problems in Darfur, government patrols stop trucks in Nahud and Babanusa, respectively in North and South Kordofan, which are heading to the region. He explained that not only gasoline and fuel trucks are stopped, but also other large vehicles carrying different types of goods.

The minister denied that these problems may be related to his ministry and held the South Darfur government partly responsible for what is happening. He asked why is it that the governor of South Darfur interferes in the transfer of oil, gasoline and gas but is not able to solve this particular problem.

He asserted that the current 'darkness in Nyala city is caused by lack of gas'.

Besides, Abdullah declared that the power shortage will not be solved unless there is security in Darfur and carries can deliver goods to the region.

'Unconvincing'

At the same time, Hassan Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, from the ruling NCP party and member of the national assembly from Nyala, called the minister's claim 'unconvincing'. He affirmed in an interview with Radio Dabanga from Omdurman that these problems do not happen in Khartoum and are not related to justice.

Ibrahim, the person responsible for making the electricity shortage problems an urgent issue, declared that the fluctuation of energy supply in Nyala is a 'red line, as it will lead to the destruction of development and hinder small-scale industries'.

'Excuse'

On his turn, Imad al-Bushra, from the ruling NCP party and chamber deputy of Tulus in South Darfur, called the minister's explanation about the power cuts an 'excuse'.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the deputy highlighted Abdullah's inability to perform his duties, saying he should admit his failure and not look for ways to justify them.

'Failed state'

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the minister stated it is a 'fact' that criminal groups and other parties are interested in exploiting the situation of insecurity in Darfur.

He asserted the government 'must recognize this problem and bring perpetrators to justice' and if this does not happen, Sudan will be a failed state.

400 vehicles

On Monday, the governor of South Darfur, Abdel Karim Moussa, declared that more than 400 vehicles loaded with fuel have departed from Nahud and Babanusa and are on the way to the state. The announcement was made by the Central Sudanese Media, which belongs to the security services.

Moussa attributed the lack of fuel witnessed by Nyala markets to logistical reasons related to traders and companies, explaining that this is what led to the delay in assembling the supplies.

Lastly, he asserted that the 400 vehicles on the way to South Darfur have not been subjected to any attacks or assaults by criminal groups, as opposed to what the minister declared.

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