2 October 2018

Sudan: Al Bashir - Sudan Overcomes Liquidity Crisis, Corruption

Photo: Radio Dabanga
Protests Against Soaring Prices Across Sudan (file photo).

Omdurman — In a speech to the Parliament, President Omar Al Bashir said that Sudan has passed through a rise of prices and scarcity of liquidity, and will continue to do so in the future.

On Monday, the president held a speech to the Parliament, where he said that good governance is a constant goal of the government and that its efforts will continue to fight corruption. For this purpose he announced the formation of a specialised commission.

The formation of the new government marks the beginning of this new phase, Bashir said. The president dissolved the National Reconciliation Government last month and announced new measures to cut government spending. The 31 ministries would be reduced to 21 and the number of ministries in the states would be downsized.

Liquidity crisis

The speech comes against the backdrop of the start of printing a new denomination of currency by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS). The initiative is aimed at solving the current liquidity crisis in the country, however critics question the wisdom of the move.

Sudan has suffered from an acute liquidity crisis for the last few months. The CBoS had ordered commercial banks only to issue small amounts of cash, so many people who need ready cash, such as traders, bus owners and farmers, keep their cash at home.

The shortage led to long queues at banks ahead of Eid al Adha in August. Additionally, banks have refused to allow farmers in El Gedaref state to withdraw enough cash to pay employees and costs.

Anti-corruption

Omar El Digeir, the president of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), questioned the seriousness of President Al Bashir and his government in fighting corruption and making real reforms. "The basic condition for any reform process is to recognise the corruption of reality and subject people who have performed this corruption to standards, concepts, policies and honest and courageous criticism and accountability," he told Radio Dabanga.

He added that Al Bashir's talk about the improvement of services is contradicting reality and the facts of things. El Digeir pointed out that "Sudan occupies the bottom list in the field of health services according to the reports of various international organisations, where education services have reached the extent of the collapse of schools on the heads of pupils".

Sudan's 2018 annual budget announced at the beginning of this year has been widely criticised for allocating a high percentage to the army, security service and paramilitary forces, and neglecting the education and health sectors.

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