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

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects 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.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs