Is it the End of Omar Bashir’s Era In Khartoum?
Sudan’s economy has been limping since the south of the country seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of its oil output. Today the Northern Sudan government Khartoum is being faced with the most difficult time of all times in the history of it separation from the Oil rich south Juba.
Eight years after the separation of the South, Sudan is still struggling with violent political unrest and rising refugee numbers. Peace in Sudan is fostering reciprocal, sustainable peace in a decade long war-torn nation is proving to be a night mare. The separation of the South from the rest of the country was agreed in 2005 and ended two decades of bitter civil war that left 2 million people dead and 4 million displaced. But this year’s anniversary is not a moment of peace and stability, for it has been overshadowed by violent political unrest and rising refugee numbers.
Eruptions of violence in Sudan is not a new thing and even before the Arab spring we some of us thought that sudan would be among the list of countries affected, however the country was able to hold on that and particularly in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states which have previously experienced the worst of it all. The decade long civil war culminated in a refugee crisis. 250,000 people fled over the border to the South, while 1.5 million remain internally displaced. Refugees fleeing persecution and violence face an uncertain and unstable future. Families are corralled into over-crowded camps, rife with disease and ripe for religious extremism.
Amid such volatile civil unrest and rampant violence, the need for locally led peace building in Sudan is great – especially as outsiders are seldom allowed to access the worst hit areas. Seemingly mundane disputes between groups can reignite century-old tribal feuds, escalating ill-feeling and tension into sudden and devastating conflict. For example, early in 2010, a local dispute over water descended into violence, leaving 23 young men dead. The situation calls for experts on the ground, accustomed to the local history and culture, to inspire the peaceful and mutually beneficial mediation of disputes between warring tribes and communities.
Today as we move far from the civil war debate Khartoum has presented another terrible scenario where the citizens are willing to uprise against the Bashir the long time president of the north. Governance disputes and demonstrating by the local people might turn to violence in the near future is the situation is not arrested and addressed in good time. The unnecessary tension could prove very very destructive as the war era and still very fresh in the people’s minds and make it difficult to contain the people in the future.
Bread shortages have hit the country, with wheat traders blaming a foreign currency crisis for shortages of the staple that have left people queuing for hours outside bakeries. “The economic situation used to be good and the purchasing power people had was reasonable, but conditions are bad now, the goods are expensive, and so people are unable to buy them,” said Hussin Osman, a shop keeper
The living conditions in Sudan are deteriorating. We have queues everywhere, for fuel, and at ATMs. You can’t even withdraw your money from the bank. You can’t get your salary. Everything has become very expensive and we don’t know what is happening. It feels like there’s a ticking bomb and we don’t know when it will explode. The situation was further worsened when the Sudanese pound was devalued, making it hard to import essential supplies such as wheat.
According to the State Statistical Agency, inflation rose to 68.93% in November from 68.44% in October. It has increased constantly despite government attempts to contain the hike in prices by strictly limiting cash withdrawals.
As protests entered their fifth day on Monday, Bashir vowed to “take real reforms to guarantee a decent life for citizens,” in quotes carried by the official SUNA news agency. Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir has offered concessions to anti-government protesters who have been demonstrating against escalating prices of basic commodities.
The president’s pledge comes after the protest movement spread to around a dozen cities since it began on Wednesday, after the government tripled the price of bread. The main reason for the protests is economic and linked to high prices but the roots of the economic crisis are political.
However we also understand that the crisis has also been brought about many collapse of many ministries in the Khartoum government for example not long ago we had the, doctors strike. Hospital workers and doctors also staged a walkout on Monday morning, according to a member of a committee of doctors. They are all pushing for the “president’s immediate resignation in response to the uprising by the Sudanese people… (and the) formation of a transitional government”.
This unprecedented event brings in another aspect of the Sudan president Bashir and his warrant of Arrest issued by the ICC in the Netherlands. Could these kind of events have been schemed by the west to push for the arrest of one Omar basher the current serving president of Sudan since 16 October 1993, am not saying so but am just throwing a thought in the air. In my conclusion as African countries we need to come up with strategies to pull ourselves out of this economic crisis that are crippling the Governments one after the other without the intervention of the west.