Fuel price hikes making life ‘unbearable’ in Darfur

Fuel dispencer09 October 2013, Khartoum – Prices of consumer goods and food in the markets of Darfur have risen sharply after the removal of subsidies on fuel on 23 September, multiple people in the region say. Merchants have attributed the price hikes to the high cost of transportation.

Security forces and intelligence services, who not only have a monopoly on fuel trade but also often receive bribes, are accused of “favouritism” by dealers, a Central Darfur witness said.

Traders have told Radio Dabanga that members of the security forces and intelligence services earn at least SDG50,000 ($11,240) on one tanker of fuel.

The price of a barrel of petrol has mounted to SDG1,400 ($315) and a barrel of diesel to SDG1,320 ($297).

For his part, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp in South Darfur confirmed that people are suffering from the high costs of consumer goods after the recent increases of fuel prices.

The Sheikh added that the situation has become unbearable. Another source told Radio Dabanga that people in Darfur are heading toward a famine that will be more severe than the one in 1983: “At that time, however, we had jobs and some savings, and life was secure.”

The price of a pound of sugar has risen from SDG3.50 to SDG4 ($0.90), a bottle of cooking oil from SDG7 to SDG9 ($2) and a pound of tea to SDG8 pounds ($1.80).

Sources reported to Radio Dabanga that the price of a large sack of sugar has risen to SDG410 ($92), a sack of millet to SDG300 ($67.50), a tin of cooking oil tin toSDG160 ($36), a large sack of onions to SDG550 ($124), and a piece of soap to SDG3 ($0.70).

Sheikh Tabaldiya appealed to the humanitarian organisations to intervene and “support the displaced in the camps with surviving.”

– Radio Dabanga

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