Political Reports

“Daglo Markets” in Khartoum… Traffic Lights Fail to Convince Vendors to Stop

Report by Talal Moddathar

In an unprecedented manner, markets for stolen and looted goods have emerged in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, as a direct consequence of the raging conflict between the government army and the dissolved Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militias in Sudan since mid-April of last year.

 

A Popular Name
Popularly, people have come to know this type of market as “Daglo Markets,” a reference to the name of the leader of the rebel militia, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. Vendors in these markets engage in the display of all kinds of commercial goods, food items, furniture, kitchen equipment, and electrical appliances, in addition to household furniture. They excel in marketing these stolen goods through catchy songs and local marketing phrases, calling out, “Furniture… and they’ve run away,” meaning the owner fled and left it amid the laughter of shoppers.

Locations
All neighbourhoods of the scorching capital, Khartoum, witness a thriving activity of these markets. They are widespread in the suburbs of the Haj Yousif area – Stoh Market and Aradeimiya, Al-Kalakla Lafa, Wad Al-Aqla, south of the cemeteries, where goods are transported by boats across the Nile, For Market or Abuja Market, east of Jebel Oulia, Wad Al-Bashir Market in Omdurman, Karur Market in Omdurman, Libya Market, Al-Muwailih Market (specialised in selling stolen cars and fabrics, with brokerage agreements among Rapid Support Forces soldiers themselves, leading to their transfer to western Sudan), and the largest in size is the Mayo Market south of the capital, Khartoum, along with the “Triangle Market” west of the Jebel Oulia reservoir. The latter was forcibly shut down by the local community represented by the Gumouia tribe, which rejected the presence of the market in their areas and sent the sellers away.

With the absence of security, the closure of police stations, and the urging of citizens to report any thefts via the electronic reporting platform “223,” along with the lack of official statistics on theft and looting reports, vendors in these markets engage in the display of stolen and looted goods at “competitive” prices that do not represent the true market value of the item. For instance, electric refrigerators are offered for sale at 30,000 Sudanese pounds, or less than forty dollars, and a cooking gas cylinder for only 5,000 Sudanese pounds. Basic food items are similarly priced, almost a quarter of their true cost.

A Market for Everything
In “Daglo Markets,” there is no concept of specialisation. Visitors will notice stolen solar panels displayed alongside oil containers and medical drugs, which have broken all selling conditions and are now subject to open trading without the vendors understanding their nature and the diseases they are used to treat.

Even Traffic Lights Were Not Spared
One Khartoum resident, Haitham Zein Al-Abdeen, who studied aviation sciences, described his visit to one of the “Daglo Markets” while driving back home. He noticed that nobody paid any attention to these goods being stolen; everyone was involved in buying and selling as if it were perfectly normal, not guided by any religious or moral constraints. He intentionally asked one of the vendors about the price of an electric oven displayed for sale as he prepared to perform ablution for prayer. The man requested a few minutes to complete his ablution and then make the purchase.
A Matter of Responsibility… Settling the Reasonable
Beware when you hear these phrases: “Clean beds… a comfortable sleep,” “Cupboards that hold and turn,” “Kafouri furniture… just like you want it,” and “From the east of the Nile… a fully furnished room… trust and take it.” If you hear these voices in Khartoum, welcome to “Daglo Market,” where “responsible furniture… a closed set… is reasonably priced.” You can settle the reasonable with satisfaction with the seller, with one condition: you leave without asking about the source!

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