5 April 2019

Sudan: Central Darfur Doctors Strike for Salary Payments

Zalingei — Doctors and workers at the Teaching Hospital of Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, entered into a strike yesterday in protest against the non-payment of their salaries and the deterioration of services. ATMs are running low on cash.

The medical workers gave the hospital management 24 hours to address the problem, and in the event of non-response, they would enter into an open strike.

A medical cadre told Radio Dabanga that some of the doctors have not been paid salaries and incentives since February this year.

The lack of liquidity in Sudan continues to worsen, leading to ATMs that are out of operation and the non-payment of salaries. Last week, health insurance workers of El Mujlad in West Kordofan have entered into an open strike in a similar protest.

Banks

On Thursday, residents of Port Sudan in Red Sea state stood in front of the Bank of Khartoum to protest against the lack of cash, seen that a number of banks have been permanently closed. The Secretary-General of the Union of Banks, Dr Sirajeldin Osman, acknowledged the liquidity crisis, stressing the need to restore confidence in the banking system.

The parliament will summon the director of the Central Bank next week to answer the question on the situation of liquidity in the banks.

Other recent reports reaching Radio Dabanga say that a large proportion of ATMs in Khartoum state have been out of service for more than two weeks, making it difficult for people to access their February salaries.

In December 2018, the Central Bank of Sudan issued a decision to set the limit of cash withdrawals by bank card at ATMs. The recent printing of new currency by the Central Bank of Sudan has been necessitated by hyperinflation, coupled with a chronic shortage of hard cash. Banks have limited cash withdrawals so traders and the public prefer to keep their cash at home, rather than deposit it into banks.

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