“Christianity in Sudan” – CSI’s John Eibner contributes to Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity

ZURICH, June 18, 2018

ZURICHJune 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Christians in Sudan are more vulnerable than ever,” according to John Eibner’s contribution to Christianity in North Africa and West Asiavolume 2 of the authoritative Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity. This new volume is being launched today at Heythrop College, University of London.

Eibner’s contribution to the volume focuses on the Christian communities of the Republic of Sudan. Ever since Sudan attained independence in 1956, the Sudanese Christian community has confronted the ruling elite’s attempt to achieve “the restoration of Muslim and Arab supremacy after half a century of British rule.” In this environment, Eibner writes, “Christians were expected to accept politically and socially disadvantageous conditions of dhimmitude in accordance with the spirit, if not the letter, of Sharia norms.”

Islamization and Arabization failed in South Sudan, at the cost of two civil wars in which millions perished, but it intensified in North Sudan (today the Republic of Sudan) after the South’s secession in 2011.

In the religiously mixed Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile regions of the Republic of Sudan, which have long been the scene of revolt against the central government in Khartoum, Christian communities are among the targets of the Sudanese military’s counterinsurgency campaigns. In the capital Khartoum and other cities, the government periodically arrests local Christian leaders and closes church buildings. Protestant denominations and those churches whose members have roots in the Nuba Mountains and the Southern Blue Nile bear the brunt of the persecution.

In the Republic of Sudan today, Eibner concludes, “Christianity is more vulnerable than ever,” due to both increased state pressure and decreasing interest from Western partners. However, despite severe trials and tribulations, Eibner notes that few Sudanese Christians believe that Christianity is destined to disappear from the country.

Christianity in North Africa and West Asia is edited by Kenneth Ross (University of Edinburgh), Mariz Tadros (University of Sussex), and Todd Johnson (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). It brings together contributions from thirty-eight authors to serve as a comprehensive reference guide to Christianity in every country in North Africa and West Asia.

Today’s book launch will feature a panel including contributors Eibner, Tadros, Hratch Tchilingirian, and Anthony O’Mahony, and introductory remarks by Ross. The launch takes place in the context of a conference on “Eastern Christian Tradition in the World Today,” hosted by the Centre for Eastern Christianity at Heythrop College, University of London.

Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is an international Christian human rights organization, campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity, and assisting victims of religious persecution, victimized children and victims of catastrophe.

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Sudan central bank governor dies of heart attack-family

17 June 2018

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s Central Bank Governor Hazem Abdelqader has died from a heart attack while on a visit to Turkey, his family and the Sudanese presidential palace said on Saturday.

Born in 1960, Abdelqader served in various departments at the central bank from 1985 before he was appointed governor in December 2016.

Family members said the father of six was not known to be suffering from any illnesses.

Sudan’s economy has been grappling with a crippling hard currency shortage and a black market for dollars that pushed the central bank to devalue its currency to around 30 pounds to the dollar earlier this year from 6.7 pounds in late December.

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Another electoral farce Sudanese should expect in 2020

18 June 2018

Sudanese Elections Scheduled for 2020 will be Fraught with Dangers andCounterfeiting like its predecessors

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

The National Congress Party (NCP) regime’s Elections Scheduled for the year 2020 and kept orchestrating about it and deafened the ears by the repeated echoes is nothing but a kind of blatant Systematic deception to extend the already overextended term of office for the inept genocidal dictator Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir with the view to protect him from arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has been chasing him since early 2009 but remains fugitive from the international justice and a pariah of the world population. As it is known, during Electoral fraud criminal practices are resorted to by the National Congress Party (NCP) regime, where large numbers of voters were made to vote more than once, in addition to election manipulation, or vote rigging through illegal interference with the process of the election process, whether by increasing the vote share of the favoured candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both to which dictatorial regimes resort to in order remain in power indefinitely. The political game in the form of cheating and fraud during the callous reign of the (NCP) regime is not an exception! The people of Sudan under the reign of the (NCP) regime must have read the scholarly written essay entitled“From Dictatorship to Democracy, A Conceptual Framework for Liberation which is a book-length essay on the generic problem of how to destroy a dictatorship and to prevent the rise of a new one. The book was written in 1993 by Gene Sharp (b. 1928), a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts. The book has been published in many countries worldwide and translated into more than 30 languages.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Dictatorship_to_Democracy

Substantial evidence of voter fraud is rive during the over-prolonged reign of the (NIF)/(NCP) regime.

The National Islamic Front (NIF), and its heir the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), seized power in Sudan through the military coup on Friday, June 30, 1989, and overthrew the democratically elected government and then ruled through their corrupt racist regime, whose actions are contrary to the teachings of the Islamic religion, which they claim its monopoly for being staunch members of the International Muslim brotherhood Movement (MBM) and they continuing craving for another term of office for their Master of Grace, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and believing that it would shield him from the gripping hand of the International Criminal Court (ICC) At The Hague in the Netherlands which the Marshall fears more than anything else.

As it is known throughout history and the human experience that the strategies dictators often use to survive include elections. James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford University, finds out what’s in the dictators’ survival guide; he found out how they manipulate apparently democratic procedures like elections to secure their rule. The survival guide is, somewhat surprisingly, called “elections”. Most countries now have elections, but dictators usually rig them. Today, election rigging is more sophisticated than simply stuffing ballot boxes. Dr Brian Klaas is a research fellow at the London School of Economics.

The answer to as to why so many of these leaders stay in power for so long is that most have a series of complementary strategies – a “dictator’s survival guide” – that over time entrench their rule.

Incentives to stay in power are so readily at hand for autocratic entities. So far, the dictators’ survival guide seems to imply that staying in power is not so difficult. Monitor and control the population, pay off a small number of influential people and use elections to demonstrate their power. And to some extent that’s true. Once dictators have ruled for a few years and mastered these levers of power they become very difficult to dislodge.

The Dictator’s Survival Guide

When Robert Mugabe was deposed last year, he had ruled Zimbabwe for nearly four decades. How do dictators and authoritarians stay in power? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford University, finds out what’s in the dictators’ survival guide. How do they control ordinary people and stop revolts? How do they stop rivals from taking over? And how do they manipulate apparently democratic procedures like elections to secure their rule? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5rsMGP3kjdLjXMxd1CLq00M/how-dictators-survive

This article has decided to open itself by a satirical statement allegedly made by a leading member of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Kamal Omer Abdel Salam. Mr Abdel Salam has been quoted as saying: “Even if you run the elections inside your house, the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) will get the votes of your children! Furthermore, on the 9th of June 2018, the Popular Congress Party (PCP) rejected the draft of the 2018 election law, which was discussed by the Council of Ministers on Thursday, saying it contradicted the outcome of the dialogue because the National Congress Party (NCP) had put it without the advice of the forces participating in the government of reconciliation. The (POP) said it rejects the draft electoral law and accuses the (NCP) of putting it on its own.

The US Administration under President Donald Trump is likely to turn a blind eye once again and offer its support to the NCP regime in view to “blind loyalty despite Omer al-Bashir’s crimes against the people of Sudan and tried to absolve it of any wrongdoing despite its egregious violations, deliberate massacres and wilful killings and war crimes which amounted to genocide in the Darfur region for which the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants against the Omer al-Bashir who remains fugitive from the International Justice since 2009..

The statements such as:”The need for commitment to the outputs of the national dialogue, which demanded the guarantee of personal freedom, public freedoms, human rights in movement, work and others guaranteed by the amended Constitution of the Sudan of 2005 and all international laws” will not find any listening ears during those forged electioneering process times in al-Bashir ruled Sudan.

Thus, such elections mean nothing for dispossessed and disenfranchised Sudanese citizens in the war-devastated region of Darfur. And it is similarly so for the other disadvantaged and the oppressed people in other regions in Sudan. Moreover, there will be an expected mass boycott of a charade election made to measure for the size of the professional fraudulent shaking of ballot boxes and emptying their contents into the boxes belonged to his party supporters. The so-called 2020 elections are nothing but another landslide win for al-Bashir who has ruled Sudan for the then 31 lean years of oppression and abject failures in all aspects of rule of law and Good governance. The 2020 elections are an inseparable part of the nefarious corruption that is still being practised by the so-called National Congress Party (NCP), with the fake nomenclature.

This is attributable to the fact that the regime of the International Muslim Brotherhood Movement (MBM) has the greatest ability to falsify the facts and adopt falsehood and take the word “Watan, translated homeland” stuck to its name to appear acceptable to the People whose collective consciousness was turned into oblivion through systematic brainwashing with religious slogans but at the same time denied of their rights of their country’s wealth and development for so long. It is very likely the showcasing popular apathy about elections to dominate the upcoming poll stations in the 2020 elections. Meanwhile, some news outlets loyal to the ruling party say that the party women are calling for Bashir to be re-elected for a new term. This type of news does not excite anyone, which is what is called the bad news for domestic consumption without legible content but at worse, it is expected to lead to more people following the action of not participating in the planned elections. Some clearly said that the vote is meaningless and that they will “not vote in the elections because they know the result in advance!

Furthermore, other members of the Sudanese people commented satirically about the alleged election of 2020 by stating that “There is only one candidate, who will win, and it’s the current president – the rest of the candidates are extras to legitimise the electoral process!”
Other commentators said adding that it isn’t fair that some regions are at devastating war while others are peaceful enough to vote.

Boycott 2020 Elections of Bashir’s Re-Enumeration is the motto for the next round of polls

A number of young people say about an election to be held in 2020 that the Sudanese people have tasted bitterness over the past 30 years at the hands of Omar al-Bashir, who overthrew democracy and led the country to bankruptcy, hunger, disease, displacement and genocide is not fit for purpose and never has been. These tragedies are enough to resort to boycotting the elections. And the people of Sudan should not help in empowering the dictator Bashir to continue to spread wars and corruption while the remaining land and people of Sudan are the targeted the victims for the sake of the satanic goal of the survival of al-Bashir in power to wreak havoc and pour into the earth corruption and spread the scourge of futile wars.

The ruling regime of the National Islamic Front (NIF) and its heir the National Congress Party (NCP) tried to apply Islamo-Arabic rule to non-Muslim groups such as the region of the South Sudan, which hastened the secession of the people of South Sudan to establish their own failed state, the Government of South Sudan. The tribal wars between the Dinka and the Nuer led to abject Failure to the chronic failures learned from the Arabist suffering from the psychological syndrome of inferiority complex. As it is said, the one who has nothing cannot give the other something!
Thus, Revolutionary Movements and the serious opposition in the Sudanese political parties are calling and demanding the removal of marginalisation and institutionalised injustice and call for the resisting and boycotting of the alleged elections. Let us not to offer legitimacy for the regime that never had legitimacy. This is because the (NCP) regime is not and has never been fit for purpose of nation-building, rule of law and good governance.

The political analysts indicate that the failures that accompanied the course of governance in Sudan seem mostly to the fact that the grassroots were not part of the equation. Despite multi-party system and parliamentary elections, the popular dimension was remarkably absent expect for election campaigns, but hardly any tangible presence in the socio-economic fields.

It is clear that Sudan is a security and police state par excellence, an intelligence apparatus, a state within a regime, and people oppressed.

The NCP government adopted in its plan to stop the war in Darfur on three axes that it worked to achieve simultaneously with the support of the international community: drying up the military presence of the armed movements in Darfur, collecting weapons and dismantling the camps of displacement and asylum through the voluntary return programme.

The Password is the organization of the rows in the face of the despotic regime.
These violations against humanity and against international law are taking place under international silence and complete failure by the joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, and this silence on the crimes of the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) opens the way for the continuation and aggravation and makes clear that the decision to withdraw UNAMID and restrict it to limited areas requires that the international forces reconsider these plans and work to provide full and adequate protection for the Sudanese citizens in the Darfur region.

Elections are marred by Fraud and the opposition challenged the results of the referendum that approved the new constitution, asking the court to nullify the result because it was marred by fraud.
There is no such thing as an election in Sudan; it is really a true succinct statement.

The Sudanese Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2020 will take place under a state of emergency. There is no level playing field for the Opposition Parties in the pre-election period.

The Leader of the Reform Movement Now Party in Sudan Dr. Ghazi Salah al-Din has been reported as attacking the government and demanding that it stop the steps of passing the election law immediately. It is important to bear in mind that Ghazi Salah al-Din was the closest to the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) and one of its founders and representative of the regime in the Darfur issue negotiations in Doha, Qatar in 2011. Moreover, Ghazi Salah al-Din confirmed that it is a violation of the recommendations of National Dialogue outcomes and a sound political practice!

Salah al-Din added saying the government should return to the foundation platform to issue a law to achieve national unity. This talk clearly indicates that the ruling regime has begun rigging the elections since now in 2018 and let alone in 2020!

The New election law puts more power in Bashir’s hands, authorising him to form an election commission. Thus, Omer al-Bashir hopes to hold the parliament hostage to amend the constitution and the electoral law to be able to run for a new term not approved by the current constitution. https://www.alrakoba.net/news-action-show-id-306815.htm

Frederick William Robertson, also known as Robertson of Brighton, who was an English divine, has been quoted as saying: “There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny”.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/fraud

The people of Sudan wonder whether the dictator al-Bashir and his corrupt entourage are going to the dustbin of history through the polls, or being overthrown through the mass uprising. That seems the Sixty-four-dollar question! We long to see it without waiting to happen! That has happened in both Modern and Ancient history. People should not lose hope; they were so patient before but they have to work and say at the same time and will win without a doubt. This is because the ruling regime is now in its weakest condition and even its closest supporters have abandoned it as if it were infested byScabies!

Burrhus Frederic Skinner, commonly known as B. F. Skinner, the American psychologist, behaviourist, author, inventor, and social philosopher has been quoted as saying: “The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned.”

Dr Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com

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Salva Kiir’s kingdom of doom

16 June 2018

By Duop Chak Wuol

Empires come and go, regardless of whether they are good or bad. One of the chief measures employed by historians is an investigatory examination into the legacies the empires leave behind — these legacies are always methodically scrutinized by the people who the empires once ruled. In South Sudan, the final report of Salva Kiir’s regime is already written on the wall. Kiir’s leadership is not just troubling; it is a kingdom of destruction where his regime’s policy is heavily influenced by tribal interests instead of issues that are of national importance.

South Sudan cannot be a stable country if we do not tell the truth. Kiir’s presidency is indisputably an ethnic one. The man is not a president for all, although he claims to be such a leader only when he sees a real threat to his leadership. Kiir surrounds himself with known tribal hooligans who have hate towards other South Sudanese ethnicities. For instance, the notorious Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), that is by default a co-president of South Sudan, is consumed by a twisted belief that the Jieng should be the only tribe to lead South Sudan. The South Sudanese believe that Kiir and the JCE do not work for all South Sudanese—rather, they work for JCE’s interests. This seemingly ethnic thinking is also maintained by Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, information minister Michael Makuey Lueth, and Presidential adviser Nhial Deng Nhial, among others. But if one asks these three men if they are for a tribal supremacy, they would deny it and even try to kiss the soil to prove that they are not tribalists. Kuol, Michael, and Nhial are known tribal freaks who always talk diplomatically during the day and tribally at night.

Salva Kiir always claims to be a man who cares for unity in South Sudan. History tells us that a good leader who cares for his or her legacy tends to focus mainly on policies that unite people and develop the economy. Kiir is a heartless tyrant who cares nothing for the suffering of the people of South Sudan because his immediate family members and close relatives do not suffer the same way other South Sudanese do. In addition, it appears that Kiir will only accept peace or act with care and consideration if, and only if, he is confronted with a real threat striking at his very doorstep. The man has been making surprisingly absurd claims about his leadership. Kiir believes that the people of South Sudan should recognize his leadership as the legitimate moral authority of the country. However, investigations into his regime demonstrate that these claims are inconsistent with an actual, material state of affairs. Surely, any leader who cares for his people would not destroy his or her own country and demand respect from people at the same time. What is clear is that Kiir’s main focus is an imposition of a tribal supremacy on other South Sudanese tribes. This is a monumental mistake on his part. He forgets the fact that his presidency will be gone and that he is placing an irremovable stain on his legacy and family members. Kiir is not the good person he always wants people to believe. His background is spoiled with appalling crimes. In public, Kiir will pose as a national figure who deserves to be trusted by the South Sudanese. But in private, he is a very dangerous man. In Kiir’s world, anyone who glorifies his tyranny is a good person and anyone who questions his cruelty is a bad person. This is like a madman trying to blame his mental issue on bystanders.

In 2004, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was fractured by rumours and factional interests. Kiir himself was furious about former SPLM/A leader, the late Dr John Garang. When the leaders of the SPLM met in Rumbek in late 2004, Kiir accused Dr Garang of controlling everything in the movement. Kiir, who was second in command of the SPLM/A at the time, also dispelled rumours about him being against chairman Garang. He admitted during the conference that he was for peace because his people, the people of Bahr El Ghazal, were the ones who were hit hard by famine and attacks from Arab militias. Kiir also blamed Garang for allowing uncoordinated leadership conferences to take place.

A methodical analysis of Salva Kiir’s speech at the 2004 Rumbek meeting shows that Kiir is now doing the very same things he once accused Dr Garang of doing. For instance, he cunningly changed South Sudan’s constitution to make himself an absolute dictator, imposed some provisions in the SPLM’s by-laws that allowed him to appoint his allies to the party leadership, and gave himself powers to appoint some members of the national parliament, including state governors, among others. So Kiir’s claim of being a rational leader who wanted the democratization of the SPLM/A during the 2004 conference was a pure deceit and merely showed that he is more dangerous than the people he always accused of wrongdoings.

Kiir’s tyranny did not begin when he took over the leadership of the SPLM/A in 2005. His brutality began in the late 1980s when he was the head of the SPLA military intelligence. His ruthlessness later developed to a serious stage. In Itang, for example, Kiir was known as someone who would summon any military commander he hated to his headquarters and execute him or her, using surprisingly similar techniques to those he now uses. Another method was that Kiir would abruptly tell a commander that he or she was ordered to immediately go to a frontline, claiming some changes in military command had taken place. When such an officer agreed to go, Kiir then ordered his own killing squad to eliminate the officer on the way. For instance, Kiir would tell the targeted person to travel in an SPLA car with a few bodyguards, carefully choose a road the individual would travel, and when the person began his or her fake assignment journey, he or she would be stopped on the road by Kiir’s thugs and silenced for good. After his orders were fulfilled by his killing squad, Kiir would then turn around and lie to the family members of the deceased that he or she is still fighting on the frontline. But when Kiir knew the family of the person he secretly eliminated was sceptical of his elaborate lies, he would fabricate a story that the person in question was killed on the frontline. As you can see, Kiir’s use of unknown gunmen today is deeply rooted in his blood. If there are people who believe Kiir was a good leader then, does this make you wonder why he is a bad leader now? But as you can see, Kiir’s background speaks for itself.

Salva Kiir’s ambition to become an absolute dictator is real. For instance, when Dr Riek Machar spearheaded the national reconciliation in 2012, Kiir was noticeably furious. He employed his trusted sycophants who publicly accused Machar of running against Kiir. The irony is that Kiir now wants the national reconciliation he once labelled as “Machar’s campaign strategy” to oust him from the party leadership. Kiir’s campaign of trying to hide behind a false concern for the nation can easily be tested if a non-Dinka tries to run against him for the party leadership or presidency. This was what happened in 2013 when it was clear his then deputy Machar was going to take over the leadership of the SPLM. This was where Kiir’s political madness exploded. At that time, most South Sudanese forecasted that there was going to be blood on Juba’s streets. This prediction occurred in late 2013 when Kiir unleashed tribally-motivated attacks on Nuer civilians in Juba under the pretext of a bogus coup. What some people do not know is the fact that Kiir’s decision to prevent Machar from contesting the party leadership was tribally-motivated.

Kiir is a very cunning person. If his current First Vice President Taban Deng Gai decides to contest the chairmanship of the party while Kiir is a candidate for the same post, I guarantee you that Kiir will go ballistic, and Taban and his followers will be slaughtered the same way Kiir massacred innocent Nuer in December 2013. Kiir’s presidency is all about tribal reign, but because the case is somewhat sensitive, Kiir would claim that he is not a tribalist. But nobody would believe him except his tyrannical ring-lickers. Kiir’s strategy is not only limited to Dinka and Nuer decades of rivalry. This could happen to any non-Dinka person who tries to run for a position Kiir holds. If you wonder why then try to convince James Wani Igga to run for Kiir’s position and see what happens. Kiir has built a kingdom that is too destructive for the country. The people of South Sudan must stand up against this atrocious regime to free themselves. We did not fight against Khartoum’s regime only to face the same brutality again. Kiir must be forced to accept peace or be confronted militarily until he is buried in the same coffin with his doomed presidency.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com

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Sudan security denies family visit to deported detainee

Hisham Ali (ST Photo). Link to image.

June 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The family of a Sudanese activist detained by the security authorities expressed concern about his health as they have been denied a family visit to their son since his arrest at Khartoum airport after his expulsion from Saudi Arabia.

Hisham Ali who was arrested after his deportation from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday 29 May. He had been arrested in Jeddah in November 2017, in response to a request by the Sudanese security apparatus.

In a statement released on Saturday Ali’s family said concerned about his state of health and the possibility of being subjected to torture as they have been denied meeting to their son since his arrival to Sudan.

“His life is in danger,” said a statement released by his family, stressing they hold the security apparatus fully responsible for his safety and called on national and international groups to investigate his health and humanitarian situation.

The 46-year-old Sudanese activist contributed to various online forums to expose government corruption and expressed his support for the November and December 2016 civil disobedience in Sudan on his Facebook page.

In a related development, Amnesty International said the Sudanese security service denied another political detainee, Matar Younis Ali Hussein, access to his family and a lawyer.

Matar Younis who is a vocal critic of the government’s policy in Darfur has been arrested since the first April.

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Juba and Khartoum agree on oil production resumption

10 June 2018

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP. Link to image.

South Sudan and the Sudan have agreed to reopen oil wells in the contested Heglig area on their common border.

South Sudan’s Information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei announced that a joint team from Juba and Khartoum would soon assess the damage to the oil wells in the area inflicted by the 2012 war.

“The two sides have agreed to reopen all the wells within three months,” Mr Makuei said.

The announcement came following a visit by Khartoum Foreign Affairs minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed to Juba on Tuesday.

Heglig is located between Southern Kordofan in the north and former Unity State in the south. The area remains a source of tension between the two countries.

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Sudanese Suffer From Shortage of Liquidity

10 June 2018

Khartoum — Sudanese banks and forex exchange offices witnessed an acute shortage of liquidity on Thursday. The Minister of Finance pledged to tackle the situation before the end of Ramadan. Economists strongly criticise the recently adopted Foreign Exchange Regulation Bill. The exchange rate of the Dollar in the black market rose to SDG 39 on Friday.

The scarcity of cash money in the country led to the automatic shutdown of ATMs as well on Thursday.

In a statement to the parliament, Finance Minister Mohamed El Rikabi said arrangements have been made with the Central Bank of Sudan to resolve the liquidity problem as soon as possible.

He pledged to enable the people to cash their money in the coming days so that they will be able to meet the needs of Eid El Fitr.

The minister reported an increase in the country’s external debts as well. “The economy is suffering from big problems with foreign debts exceeding $50 billion.”

He further mentioned six basic commodities “that costs the government $ 1.6 billion to import”: wheat, fava beans, rice, lentils, sugar, and cooking oils.

He attributed the inflation rate of 54.1 per cent during the first quarter of this year to the soaring food prices – which account for 56 per cent of the inflation rate.

Sudan’s inflation rate hit a record 57.6 per cent in April, compared with 55.6 per cent in March.


Last week, the Central Bank of Sudan announced the launch of a new banknote of SDG 50, worth $1.77*, in the coming period. It explained the decision by stressing the leakage of counterfeit currency for trading that has increased liquidity in Sudan.

In early February, the then State Minister of Finance Abdelrahman Dirar admitted to members of the parliament that the Finance Ministry does not control the exchange rate of the Sudanese currency and the soaring prices in the country.

This high price volatility in general does not occur in countries with a trade deficit such as Sudan, he said.

He acknowledged that billions of Pounds were printed in the past years. The extra banknotes were spent to support the wheat, fuel, and electricity needs of the Sudanese.

A week later, President Omar Al Bashir stressed the need to continue to absorb liquidity so as to reduce the cash mass outside the banking system and to halt the Sudanese currency’s downward slide against the US Dollar. The Ministry of Finance announced that it would continue to reduce the circulation of money among the public for seven more days.

Indicative exchange rate

In an attempt to halt the plummeting Pound on the black market, the Sudanese government raised the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to an indicative SDG 18 in early January.

The prices of basic commodities immediately doubled and in some cases tripled. The measure also led to the halting of incoming and outgoing traffic at the Port Sudan harbour, as suppliers refused to have their goods cleared.

The Dollar rate however, continued to rise. The greenback sold for SDG 42 on the parallel forex market in early February – against SDG 28 a month earlier

On February 5, the indicative exchange rate of the US Dollar was raised again, from SDG 18 to SDG 30. The prices of wheat and sorghum jumped again.

Dr Hasan Bashir, a professor of economics at Sudan’s El Nilein University told Radio Dabanga in early May that the new measures constituted “a blow to the Sudanese economy”.

He pointed to the raising the indicative Dollar price “without taking into account the need to provide reserves of foreign currency to meet the increasing demand for liquidity”.

On Friday, the Dollar rate rose to SDG 39 again in the Khartoum black forex market.

‘Financial facilities’

According to Economic Analyst Hafiz Ismail, the government’s decisions to criminalise dealing with foreign currency contradict its opening-up policies towards global financial and economic institutions.

Ismail sharply criticised the recently adopted Foreign Exchange Regulation Bill, which includes harsh penalties for foreign currency traders, ranging from 10 to 15 years imprisonment.

He told Radio Dabanga on Friday that Khartoum is seeking financial facilities from the International Monetary Fund and needs to meet many conditions and criteria to obtain them.

Last week, Economic Researcher Dr Haytham Fathi described the new bill as harmful to the national economy.

According to Fathi, the best way to solve “the economic problem that the country is going through now is to increase production and productivity to upturn the volume of exports and replace imports to support reserves of the country of foreign exchange with the reduction of government spending to the maximum degree”.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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S. Sudan’s Kiir appoints new immigration head

June 10, 2018 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir has appointed General John Maluth Akot as the director general of nationality, passports and immigration.

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP). Link to image.

Akot replaces Gen. Majak Akech Malok, who was appointed inspector general of police in February.

The new immigration boss was previously the police commissioner in Gogrial state.

The president’s latest decree gave no reason for the change.

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South Sudan presidential spokesman denies sacking

South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP). Link to image.

June 10, 2018 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny has dismissed reports claiming he has been sidelined and sacked from his post.

Ateny, in a statement issued on Sunday, described as “fake” such claims, which he largely attributed to his adversaries and distractors.

“It is true many people, especially friends and family members as well as my detractors have written to me privately to clarify if I am suspended or relieved. This is not true. I am still working as normal in the office of the president discharging my duties as the press secretary”, he told Sudan Tribune.

The presidential aide blamed his distractors over the ongoing rumor.

“I have been neither suspended nor relieved. This fake news is from those who envy me for doing my job. They abhor the government and at the same time they don’t want me to be in the government”, further said Ateny.

“But, I am happy to inform all of you that I am still the Press Secretary in the Office of the President”, he added.

It remains unclear from where the reports that circulated on social media originated.

This is, however, the third time a report on Ateny’s sacking has been subjected to public debates. Also, several officials at the presidency have dismissed the veracity of reports about his sacking, but claimed the prevailing general feeling that he lacks technical knowledge, qualifications and prerequisite skills required for the job, resulting in him uttering statements viewed as display of lack knowledge.

“Sometimes if even we at the presidency who are his colleagues do feel that he operates outside ethical parameters but there is no improvement. We have hoped he would improve the way he communicates with the public and messages from the presidency to the public; unfortunately he ends up uttering statements out of proportion,” a presidential aide told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

He added, “The statement about banks being opened at nights was one of the statements he should not have uttered, whatever the case”,

Ateny, a renowned political commentator, was appointed a presidential press secretary in November 2013.

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UN Accuses South Sudan Troops of Gang Rape in Recent Offensive

June 8, 2018

South Sudanese soldiers and allied groups gang-raped pregnant women and children as young as four in recent violence in the country’s north, a United Nations human-rights official said.

There were signs of “extensive use of sexual violence” in the “indiscriminate attacks” against villages in Leer and Mayendit counties that began around April, Eugene Nindorera, a representative of the UN high commissioner for human rights, said Friday in the capital, Juba. He cited an investigation by the UN mission in South Sudan.

South Sudanese army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang described the accusations as “normal allegations” leveled against the army without “substantiating them with evidence that can help us prosecute.”

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the civil war in Africa’s youngest country that began in December 2013, with both rebels and government troops frequently accused of atrocities.

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