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The World in 2019: Economy Tops Challenges Facing Government of Sudan

The World in 2019: Economy Tops Challenges Facing Government of Sudan

Thursday, 27 December, 2018 - 10:45
A Bank of Khartoum branch in Khartoum, Sudan. Reuters
Khartoum - Ahmed Younes
The Sudanese are waiting for the coming year, hoping that their countries’ lingering economic problems would be resolved.

President Omar al-Bashir has officially declared that the main challenge facing his government was the economy. However, in his first public address to Al-Jazera governorate after the recent wave of demonstrations, he said that economic problems and challenges that his country was going through were solvable.

Sudan’s prime minister, for his part, summarized his government’s challenges in establishing balanced foreign relations, reviving funding from Arab and Islamic institutions, restoring the confidence of international financial bodies and removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Motazz Moussa’s comments came during the presentation of the 2019 budget earlier this month.

In the same context, the spokesman for the ruling National Congress Party, Ibrahim al-Siddiq, noted that Sudan was facing three major challenges, the first of which being “the economic challenge and its effects on the country and the citizens’ daily lives.”

“In order to address this challenge, we must move towards production and seek to increase it; because the more we strengthen the economic structure, the more we attain welfare and stability,” he added.

As for the second challenge, it is represented by the establishment of peace in its different dimensions, according to Al-Siddiq. This includes “putting an end to the manifestations of war and hostility and achieving security and stability.”

“The third challenge is to rebuild the conceptual image of the Sudan in general; to achieve stability that contributes to attracting foreign aid,” he stated.

“We need to change this picture, so that Sudan becomes attractive to foreign investment and support,” Al-Siddiq said, stressing that the conceptual image that emerged as a result of the war was one of the challenges facing the country in the coming year, in addition to building balanced foreign relations.

Analysts, however, say the political crisis and its economic aftermath are the main challenge facing the country, and that people hope that the government will face basic challenges, beginning with the stability of commodity prices.

Political Analyst Moussa Hamed said in this regard: “People hope that the coming year will see the end of the ‘Islamists’ regime’ and the restoration of the freedom they have been deprived of for almost 30 years.”

He emphasized that the cause of Sudan’s crises was the political class, adding that the current government did not have a solution to offer.

Political Analyst Abdullah Rizk said that Sudan would welcome the New Year with worsening political, economic, social and cultural crises, which were the main reason for demonstrations that spread across the country at the end of 2018.

Rizk added that the government could not stop or contain the protests by traditional means, nor did it offer alternatives to stop the economic deterioration. The coming year will face a worsening crisis on the level of power and governance, and the inability to govern, he warned.

Rizk said he believed the internal situation was “controversially related to the external situation,” and that there were regional and international forces interfering with the situation in Sudan to serve their future interests.

“Since 1989, the international and regional community has had a tangible and strong presence in Sudan… through the door of war and peace. Many parties have sought and continue to intervene to bring about settlements for internal conflicts for the sake of their own interests or for international peace and security… So they will have a role to play in determining the future of the country and the challenges it faces,” he concluded.

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