Egypt-Sudan road closure is impacting supply of goods

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The opposition committee in Sudan Northern State closed the road interconnected with Sudan and Egypt, raising the question of the decision’s effect on the Egyptian economy. Some claimed that behind this action, they have a political motive.

The opposition committee was leading the protests that were going on because of displaced former dictator Omar al-Bashir in Sudan’s Northern state declaring that they would close their roads until their demands were met.

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However, roads are already being closed since January 10 when local Sudanese and farmers in the north came and sat in the middle of streets and closed the streets against the power bill increases, paralyzing the movement of goods between Egypt and Sudan. Hundreds of trucks were stopped and not allowed to import goods.

Moreover, all of them demanded that the government should revoke their decision to decrease the bills; otherwise, roads will be closed.

Even though the Council of Sudanese Sovereignty already took back their decision to increase power bills on January 12, protestors were still sitting there and sharpening their demands. Now, they want the military should handover their power to civilians and are calling for the installation of complete civilian rule without any partnership with the army corps.

As per the “Haitham Sayed Ahmed, a member of the presidential council of Northern States, the northern states have the right to self-autonomy, which would give them broad powers to run and manage the region and also provide them with a benefit from its resources – including border trade- and its strategic geographic location.

According to Yousif Siraj, a political analyst, the sharpening of road closure embarrassed the Transitional Military Council because it is impactful for the trade because the relation between Egypt is suffering due to this.

He further said that this negotiated with the Northern States people to ease the situation and resume trade exchange between the two countries.

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Moreover, Egypt ships many commodities to Sudan, including foodstuffs, industrial products, chemicals, machinery and equipment. Meanwhile, Sudan exports raw materials, livestock, sesame, cotton, peanuts, and other agricultural and animal products to Egypt.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, in the initial five months of January 3, the state budget deficit had jumped to 3.7% GDP, in contrast with 3.2% during the same 2020-2021.

The trade volume between Sudan and Egypt amounted to $718 million from January 2021 to June 2021 compared with $291.8 million in the exact period of 2020.

The total of Egyptian exports to Sudan amounted to $419 million from January 2021 to June 2021 compared with $172.3 million in 2020. Meanwhile, Sudanese exports to Egypt amounted to $299 million from January 2021 to June 2021 compared with $119.5 million during 2020.

On October 25, 2021, Sudan’s military chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared the Transitional Sovereignty Council and the authorities, led by Abdalla Hamdok.

Moreover, the military force arrested Abdalla Hamdok before freeing him under popular and overseas pressure.

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