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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid