Sudan inflation soars to 99% as food prices rise

Inflation in Sudan jumped to 99 percent because of rising food prices, official figures showed Saturday. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 May 2020

Sudan inflation soars to 99% as food prices rise

  • The inflation rate in April shot up from 82 percent the previous month due to increased prices of grains, meat, milk and bread
  • Despite Sudan’s political transition, which has raised hopes of more reforms, the economy remains in deep crisis

KHARTOUM: Inflation in Sudan jumped to 99 percent because of rising food prices, official figures showed Saturday, more than a year after the country was rocked by protests sparked by bread price hikes.
The inflation rate in April shot up from 82 percent the previous month due to increased prices of grains, meat, milk and bread, according to the Sudanese Central Bureau of Statistics.
Despite Sudan’s political transition, which has raised hopes of more reforms, the economy remains in deep crisis.
Soaring inflation, a scarcity of foreign currency and a huge public debt are among the country’s most pressing challenges.
Many in Sudan still have to queue for hours to buy bread.
A tripling of the price of bread was the trigger for the first street protests against long-time autocrat Omar Al-Bashir in December 2018.
The mass demonstrations went on for months before the army deposed Bashir on April 11, 2019.
Last month, Sudanese authorities announced an increase in bread prices, meaning one Sudanese pound (about two US cents) now buys only a 50-gram loaf of bread, compared to one weighing 70 grams previously.


‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

Updated 31 May 2020

‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

  • Turkey claims an agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to create a “fait accompli” over rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling off the coast of Libya, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Ankara’s announcement that it intends to activate last year’s maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli has brought simmering tensions to the boil.   

Turkey claims the agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between its southern coast and Libya’s northeastern coast. However, Greece, Cyprus and the EU say the deal is illegal. Turkey may also face EU sanctions over drilling in Cypriot territorial waters.

Ankara has not said exactly where it will drill, but experts told Arab News they expect exploration activities to begin off Tripoli in the short term, and then near to the coastal city of Sirte.

“From a tactical point of view, Turkey may test the scenario of a crisis with Athens where escalation takes place and then, in the context of de-escalation, the two countries would have to discuss and negotiate their positions,” said Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, said: “If we take Turkish operations off the Cypriot coast as an indicator, operations off the Libyan coast might start off on the less provocative part of the spectrum and grow bolder with time toward the more provocative part of the spectrum.

“The objective is to demonstrate a resolute determination in order to extract concessions or, at the very least, to impose itself as a player to reckon with.”