South African Court to hear Arrest Application for al-Bashir on Monday
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was ordered to remain in South Africa pending the finalisation of an application for the South African government to arrest him, the High Court in Pretoria ruled a few hours ago.
Judge Hans Fabricius ordered that he be prohibited from leaving South Africa, and that the Department of Home Affairs ensure the order is sent to every port of entry and exit in South Africa. He ordered that there be proof of service of the order and the identity of each person it is served on. This varied an order he handed down earlier, after the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) said home affairs officials at OR Tambo International Airport refused to accept his earlier order that Al-Bashir not leave until the case h…
New Term for al-Bashir - New Government for the Country
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir announced a new government with changes to the defence, foreign affairs and oil portfolios, state television reported only a few days after the start of his new presidential term.
Mohamed Zayed takes over the oil ministry, while Ibrahim Ghandour becomes Sudan’s top diplomat. Lieutenant-General Mostafa Osman Abeed was appointed acting defence minister, state television said. The reshuffle could mark a shift for Sudan, which has long laboured under a raft of UN and bilateral sanctions, including from the United States. al-Bashir, 71, said this week his country was open to dialogue with Western nations, an unusually conciliatory message from a leader facing charges at the International Criminal Co…
Inflation slows down third consecutive Month
Sudan’s inflation rate declined for a third consecutive month in October, slowing to 28.2%t from 39.2% in September, the Central Statistics Office reported, as the effect of fuel subsidy cuts introduced last year eased. Prices have soared in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output, the main source of the foreign currency used to support the Sudanese pound and to pay for food and other imports.
The rising cost of living has caused social discontent. Austerity measures and subsidy cuts prompted protests last year in which dozens were killed and hundreds were injured. "Last year, when the government introduced economic measures to remove fuel subsidies, inflation rose from 27 per…
Head of Omdurman Bank becomes new Central Bank Governor
Sudan’s State News Agency Suna has reported that Abdel Rahman Hassan has been named new governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) in Khartoum. He will take on the country’s current financial crisis and hard currency shortage, the latest sign of an overhaul of senior posts seen as favouring loyalists of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The economy has been in turmoil since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it about three-quarters of the country’s oil reserves – the main source of government revenues and the dollars needed for food and other vital imports.
Hassan had been head of the state-run Omdurman National Bank since 2006. An Oxford University professor and expert on Sudan, Harry Verhoeven said: "Hassan was no…
Troubled Economy does away with Subsidies to recover
Sudan will lift subsidies on petroleum products, a senior ruling party official said yesterday, as the government tries to stabilise a troubled economy which last year sparked protests. “What is confirmed is the subsidies will be lifted,” Rabbie Abdelatti Ebaid of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) told AFP. Ebaid said Finance and Economy Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul informed the party’s political bureau earlier yesterday of the move, which could see prices at the pumps rise within days after a formal decree is issued. Ebaid said all remaining subsidies will be eliminated, leaving the government to pay the world price for oil. It currently buys crude at about US$ 51 a barrel, he said, less than half the global price. Anti-regime de…
US$ 236m in Oil Export Fees earned from South Sudan
Sudan earned more than US$ 230m in fees for the export of South Sudanese oil this year, official media reported yesterday, days before a Khartoum deadline to shut the pipelines. “The government of South Sudan sent the fees for oil transportation to the Sudan Central Bank,” the official Suna news agency quoted the bank’s assistant governor, Azhari al-Tayeb al-Faki, as saying. The documented amount is US$ 236m, Suna said. That figure covers fees for transporting South Sudanese oil to the Port Sudan export terminal, as well as a package to compensate Khartoum for the loss of oil when South Sudan separated, Suna said.
The South became independent two years ago. It split with about 75% of united Sudan’s oil production, leaving the country…
Sudan delays Pipeline Shutdowns
Sudan has postponed the shutdown of pipelines carrying oil from South Sudan to allow time for investigating claims that both sides support rebels in one another’s territories, Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs ministry said. Sudan, the sole conduit for South Sudan’s oil exports, said earlier this month it would close two cross-border oil pipelines within two months and insisted that South Sudan shut oil production by August 7 unless it gave up support for rebels operating across their border. “The government of Sudan has agreed to postpone for at least two weeks the deadline by which it will shut down the pipelines carrying oil from landlocked South Sudan for export through Port Sudan,” the Ethiopian foreign ministry said on Friday. The African…
Pound lost half its value since 2011
Sudan’s currency has fallen to a record low against the dollar on the black market since South Sudan started reducing cross-border oil flows in a row over alleged support for rebels, dealers said. There is little foreign trading in the Sudanese pound but the black market rate is an important indicator of the mood of the business elite and of ordinary people left weary by years of economic crises, ethnic conflicts and wars. The rate is also watched by foreign firms such as cellphone operators Zain and MTN and by Gulf banks who sell products in pounds and then struggle to convert profits into dollars. Gulf investors also hold pound-denominated Islamic bonds sold by the central bank.
Today, one dollar bought 7.35 pounds on the black mark…
No Pipeline Boycott of South Sudan
Sudan will not carry out a threat to shut a pipeline carrying South Sudanese oil for export, after the two sides reached an agreement to ease tensions, a senior ruling party official said yesterday. “The pipeline will not be shut,” said Rabbie Abdelatti Ebaid of the governing National Congress. “The two parties now agreed to stop hostilities,” after a meeting between the South’s vice president Riek Machar and Sudanese officials, said. In a surprise move, Sudan in early June gave oil companies 60 days to stop transporting oil from South Sudan. The order came after President Omar al-Bashir warned the South’s government in Juba over backing rebels in the north. South Sudan denies supporting cross-border insurgents and in turn has accused Kh…
Sudan to restart Trade with South Sudan
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan visited South Sudan on Friday for the first time since the South broke away from Sudan in 2011, and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan said the two leaders agreed to resume trade across their border. The two countries agreed in March to resume pumping oil through pipelines from south to north and ease the tensions that had threatened to erupt into war. Mr. Bashir said Friday that he had ordered Sudan’s borders with South Sudan to be opened for traffic and that he hoped the two sides could begin to normalize relations. Mr. Kiir said the two leaders agreed to continue talks to resolve the conflicts over disputed regions along their volatile 1,200-mile border. But even as Mr. Bashir’s visit raised h…