Sudan declares an economic state of emergency

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Battered by worsening inflation, Sudan declared an economic state of emergency on 10 September, triggered by what it called a “systematic vandalism” of its currency.

The declaration follows months of accusations by the transitional government that its opponents have been actively sabotaging the economy by artificially inflating currency exchange rates and gold prices.

Continued decline of the Sudanese pound

The result has been a near-uninterrupted decline in the Sudanese pound’s worth on the foreign exchange markets, accompanied by fast rising inflation. The country’s inflation rate crossed the 100% mark in May, then escalated to 143.78% in July, and then to 166.83% in August.

“We are able to simply say what happened is an open war against the revolution, the economy, the government,” said the country’s information minister Faisal Saleh during a news conference. Khartoum is hoping to stem the tide by cracking down on the black markets and illegal traders.

Special economic court

As part of the economic state of emergency, the transitional government will set up special economic courts and institute stronger currency controls as well as tighter security at border points and airports to curb smuggling.

Its justice department is also pushing for the passing of the Foreign Exchange Bill, which would see illegal traders of the country’s mineral wealth face between one month and ten years imprisonment.