News / Africa

Sudan's Cut Fuel Subsidies Cost Same as Wars: US

  • People take part in protests over fuel subsidy cuts in Khartoum September 25, 2013. U.S. Special Envoy to the Sudans, Donald Booth, told VOA News that fuel subsidies are believed to cost the government in Khartoum the same as the wars in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
  • A man walks in a burnt bank during protests over fuel subsidy cuts in Khartoum, Sept. 26, 2013.
  • Militias backed by Khartoum have been fighting rebels in Darfur since 2003. US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan, Donald Booth, said the cost of waging war in Darfur and two Sudanese states is the same as the cost of fuel subsidies that were recently lifted by Khartoum, triggering mass protests.
  • The decision by Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, shown here at a news conference in August 2013, to lift fuel subsidies triggered mass protests. Bashir says the protests are an attempt to oust him.
Sudan spends as much fighting in ongoing conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile as it did on the fuel subsidies that it cut last month, sparking weeks of deadly protests in Khartoum, the US special envoy to South Sudan and Sudan told VOA News, citing U.S. government estimates. 

"What they spend on fuel subsidies is about what they spend, as we understand it, on war, so if they could make peace, they also would have been able to save money," Donald Booth told South Sudan in Focus co-host John Tanza in an interview.

Rights groups say around 200 people have been killed by security forces since the protests began in late September, when the government ended subsidies on several items,  in an attempt to bring a runaway budget deficit under control.

Booth said the government's decision to lift subsidies, particularly on fuel, "seems to have been the approximate spark for the demonstrations in Khartoum."

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said the protests are an attempt to oust him from power. The authorities in Sudan have put the protests' death toll at between 60 and 70.

U.S. Issues Travel Warning for Sudan


The U.S. Department of State on Friday issued a new warning against travel to Sudan, especially to Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.

Four United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur since Friday, three of them from Senegal and one from Zambia.

The U.N. has about 20,000 peacekeepers in Darfur, where rebel groups, largely drawn from black African farming villages, have been fighting militia groups backed by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, since 2003.

Some 300,000 people have been killed and more than two million others have been driven from their homes in the fighting in Darfur. 

Rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, meanwhile, fought against Khartoum during Sudan's decades-long civil war but were left on the Sudanese side of the border after South Sudan became an independent country in July 2011.

The conflict in South Kordofan broke out anew in June 2011, a month before South Sudan seceded, and rebels in Blue Nile resumed their fight against Khartoum in September 2011, a few months after the south split from the north.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes since 2011 because of the fighting in the two border states.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Debra from: Missouri, USA
October 15, 2013 7:26 PM
It seems a bit misleading to make a subhead out of the point that the State Department issued a travel warning for Sudan. The warning you reference in "Sudan's Cut Fuel Subsidies Cost Same as Wars: US" specifically says it replaces the travel warning issued April 6, 2013. I'm pretty sure State has had a travel warning for Sudan for quite a few years now -- so this month's warning is not news, and it would be better to mention that the travel warning has been updated and to note the changes in its content.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid