Khartoum – Here are the editor’s picks from the press comments on the week’s highlights. They are; A commentary on the economic liberalization policy and its evolution so far, another on the developments in Tunisia and their sound in Sudan and a third on the United States expressed their commitment to contribute to the costs of the next democratic elections in the country.
The economist-writer, Dr Abdellatif Albooni is of the opinion that the policy of economic liberalization as represented by the floating of the national currency and the lifting of fuel subsidies, is bearing fruit:
This policy, however harsh it has been towards citizens, is beginning to bear fruit. The price of a barrel of gasoline on the black market was 75 to 80 pounds. Now and after the wealth created by the removal of subsidies, it has dropped to 68 pounds a barrel, although it may be 75 pounds in some states.
The worst part is that there were two prices for gasoline before the new policy. There was gasoline for agriculture and gasoline for transport. Those who took gasoline in the name of agriculture and transportation had sold it on the black market. The result was a crisis in all kinds of transport.
After this influx, these black market gasoline merchants had no other solution than to return to agriculture, of course despite the high prices of other agricultural inputs. Public transport vehicles are now mooring chains for commuters at public transport terminals.
Another advantage of this is the low traffic on public roads. It was heavy, empty traffic, with drivers burning cheap, subsidized fuel for nothing. This, in turn, reduced the consumption of fuel and spare parts, with the exception of government consumption of fuel and spare parts, of course!
The transport crisis has gone from a shortage and a high cost to a simply high cost. The agricultural crisis has gone from a shortage of fuel to a simple high price of fuel. And this is a step forward.
However, the worst part of all of this is that inflation continues to rise sharply. Inflation rates have not been sustained. This is because there has been no decline in the price of hard currencies. The official value of the pound is still low. The hold of hard currency traders is still strong and the performance of the banking system is still weak. Here the government has no other way but to keep pace with market prices, with some limited security arrangements.
Either way, a stability in the price of the currency has occurred. Not so big, .. Just a limited decline has taken place in the price of the dollar, alongside a slight improvement in the value of the Sudanese pound. This is a cautious improvement that couldn’t take the pound of intensive care. We also fear a possible setback.
In my opinion, the government – with the relative stability in the value of the pound and the abundance of fuel and the relative increase in export earnings – can take action that is causing a crack in the inflation wall. This could be by achieving a very limited reduction in fuel prices. It can be helped in this by the international fall in the price of fuel, coupled if possible to some foreign subsidies (or even loans).
This could be the start of a fall in the prices of all raw materials … It is a fact of life that any rise in fuel prices usually raises the prices of all other raw materials.
On the political developments in Tunisia when the head of state, Mr. Gays Seayyid, dissolved the government and suspended the parliament (among other measures) and how these measures resonate in Sudan, wrote Mr. Alfadil Abbas in the electronic publication Alrakooba (the hut):
It seems to me that General Burhan is wetting his mouth and invoking his sixth sense while eagerly watching the developments in Tunisia, seeking to understand what happened there, trying to find a similarity between what happened. past in this country and the situation in Sudan and repeat a possible similar leap in the dark like that of Mr. Seayyid.
The general has proven himself in such daring leaps in the dark.
For the past two years, we’ve seen him fly secretly to Kampala, Uganda, to meet with former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The daring general is also of the conspiracy and coup genre.
He had participated in the ousting of his former master Omar Albashir as well as in the dismissal of Bashir’s supposed successor, General Awad Ibnoaf.
The general also said in his own language that he participated in the failed Baath Party coup attempt at the start of Bashir’s reign, as a result of which 28 army officers were executed, claiming that ‘he had luckily escaped death.
But the General is burdened with heavy weight and complications which are non-existent in the Tunisian example:
1-Our army is weak, exhausted and depressed under the mercy of the Rapid Support Forces who control the sensitive instruments of the army.
2- Khartoum is swarming with legal and illegal militias and the slightest spark of fire from the army will be met with violent conflicting fires.
3-The Sudanese public remains suspicious of the general and his military committee. This suspicion is fueled by what happened during the sit-in massacre when hundreds of people were killed or injured in front of Burhan’s eyes.
By his resistance to the possible extradition of Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC), his animosity towards the commission working to find and recover the money and goods stolen by the Bashir regime and by fabricating the Juba peace accords for make new allies of the armed movements, it is clear that Burhan intends to carry out a coup.
The temptations exist for an adventure similar to what happened in Tunisia:
As in Tunisia, the economic deterioration is worsening. The insecurity that the Tunisian president had complained about is too low compared to what is happening in Khartoum and the rest of the country.
Many Tunisian demonstrators had let down their patient people. They did not follow their revolutionary spirit, their altruism and the Sufi austerity known to true patriots.
The same thing was almost repeated in Sudan.
Some despotic countries, historically and geographically close to us, are full of petrodollars. And if Burhan played the game of Abdelfattah Alsisi of Egypt, who suppressed the revolution of June 30, 2013, perhaps he will get deposits and subsidies of their billions in addition to the fuel supplies of these countries.
We can also (General Burhan will say) find a solution to the Rapid Support Forces, a solution which satisfies all parties. We can send these forces on secondment to the United Arab Emirates Army and its police. We can also send the surplus to Saudi Arabia.
In fact, these are just dreams that cannot build a state.
As good and full of noble patriotic sentiments as the General may be, he will follow the same logic as long as corruption has become a way of life in our region by saying: Why would I deprive my children and my brothers of the gifts of power?
So there is no model for a righteous dictator that naive crowds propagate.
There is no other way out than to follow the patient and persevering approach under the shadow of human rights and freedom of expression and organization.
Mr. Zahir Bakheet Alfaki of the Aljareeda newspaper (the newspaper) cited what he called the transitional government’s negligence on the general election issue, thanking the United States for reminding the government of these elections after it (the United States) said last week that it was allocating money for the electoral process:
We are now entering our third year of transition and no one is talking about the general election.
Those who were riding the horse of the transitional government did not rush to lead us to the gates of these elections. They wield power and make no mention of elections.
They even changed the timeline they set for the transitional government, increasing its duration in response to what they called the wish of the Juba peace accord signatories.
Of course, they will not object to extending the transition period if they strike a deal with rebel Alhilu or rebel Noor. They have no reason to oppose such an election as long as they are in government and their hands are in the cold water of power!
America happily came to wake up our government from its sleep in the honey of power and announced, according to USAID Administrator Samantha Power, that it would provide support to Sudan in the areas of health, development. rural and elections. .
Ms. Power also said USAID is also expected to contribute $ 4.3 million to launch the electoral commission which is working to prepare for and hold elections after the country’s transition period.
Unfortunately, the unstable road that the transitional government is following is very long and will not lead us in the near future to the desired elections. The current squabbles of politicians for government positions and their advantages lead us to firmly believe that they stay with us due to their belief that they will not win in the elections due to their lack of popular bases.
They also know that the voter in this period of enlightenment is difficult to reach and to convince because it requires instruments which these politicians do not have. This is why they want to lengthen the duration of the transition.
The demonstrators did not take to the streets and did not endure the evil and repression of the Salvation Government to bring this or that person to power.
They came out to demonstrate to replace the repressive regime of the government of salvation by a free and democratic system where the people govern themselves and where the citizen fulfills his dream of freedom, peace and justice.
Anyway, thanks to you, America!