This morning began with the report that Sudanese Minister of Finance Ali Mahmoud told members of the Sudanese parliament that the austerity measures being put in place including the ending of fuel subsidies were a reflection of the “bankruptcy” of the state. With food prices inflating at a rate of 30% and falling currency values along with the real fact that more than 75% of its oil revenues are now gone, the prospects for the future of the Sudanese economy are grim.
The National Consensus Forces (NCF), the major opposition party to Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), is organizing protests against the removal of the fuel subsidies and is calling for “regime change.” The NCF was joined by the Popular Congress Party (PCP) in protesting and calling for change. Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the Popular Congress Party, reportedly said that the recent gathering of the NCF and PCP argued that the “meeting should be the kick-off a campaign to confront the regime which continues to oppress the people, stressing that the current economic crisis affects the rich and poor alike.” Al-Turabi said:
The middle class began to recede after the intensification of poverty and inflation. Therefore the opposition leaders met to plan for the after this regime.
Meanwhile, South Sudan is finalizing a deal to create an oil pipeline through Kenya that will result in a major financial loss, oil transit fees, going forward for Khatoum as well as the securing of South Sudan’s future oil income through a friendly nation.
Finally, the Egyptian military has staged what appears to be a coup d’etat in Egypt, removing the Khartoum regime friendly Muslim Brotherhood from power and suddenly putting a major wrench into Bashir’s attempt to unite the newly Islamist run states of Libya and Egypt with his own regime. The linchpin has suddenly been removed and the scheme is mid-collapse.
At this point, unless the Khartoum regime can negotiate peace with both the South Sudanese and the Sudan Revolutionary Forces, limiting its financial expenses for its war efforts and restoring a full flow of oil, it faces the real possibility of complete collapse in the months ahead.