Sudan: PM Hamdok Discusses Gold Exchange Rate, Escalating Violence in Abyei, and State Governors

Khartoum — On Monday, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that the delay in appointing civilian state governors has hugely affected change in the local states and their people. Via a phone call, Hamdok and his counterpart the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir discussed the security situation in Abyei, the disputed area between the two countries. Hamdok also issued a decision to establish a gold stock exchange to unify the price of gold with the international price.

In a press conference on Monday, PM Hamdok said that the government, Forces for Freedom, Change (FFC), and the armed movements are discussing the possibilities of appointing state governors and legislative council as soon as possible so that people in these states can see the promises of the revolution.

"Above all, we need to achieve a comprehensive peace to address the root causes of the problems in these war-affected states," PM Hamdok said. He further explained that state institutions in these states are very weak and need to be reformed to function properly.

PM Hamdok said that the current state governors are working under exceptional circumstances because they inherited a lot of problems from the deposed regime.

Gold Stock Exchange

PM Hamdok issued a decision to establish a gold stock exchange to unify the price of gold in the country with the international price.

He also decided to cancel the current 10 per cent that deducts from the export to cover the needs of drugs and medical equipment. The decision replaces the 10 per cent deduction with the imposition of a levy on exporters and suppliers.

PM Hamdok also decided to annul all customs exemptions, except for those that contradict international agreements. He also decided to establish an investment fund in which the national private sector participates alongside a national fund for donations from both inside and outside the country.

Abyei security situation

Via a phone call, PM Hamdok and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir discussed the growing tension and security situation in the disputed area of Abyei. They agreed that the situation needs an immediate intervention to resolve the escalating violence in the area.

On May 4, Radio Dabanga reported that four people including a woman were wounded in an attack by armed men on a commercial vehicle in Abyei, the disputed area on the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

In a statement, the National Umma Party (NUP) condemned the alleged killing of 18 Misseriya herders and the wounding of others in an attack by South Sudanese gunmen on El Gurenti near El Meiram, west of Abyei in West Kordofan on April 26. In the statement, the party called on the transitional Sudanese government to take full responsibility for the protection of the people in the region, both at home and while travelling. The NUP also called on the government to quickly contact the government of South Sudan to demand the arrest of the alleged perpetrators, so they can be brought to justice.

The party further emphasised the need for expediting the demarcation of the borders between the two countries and the establishment of customs checkpoints. In its statement, the party appealed to both the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments to show wisdom and restraint, make every effort to contain the problem, and secure fertile ground for peaceful coexistence.

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