Political Reports

Gezira Developments… A Decline in economic activity

Report by Nahed Oshi

The transfer of the battlefield from Khartoum to the state of the Gezira has a huge impact, as the Gezira is seen as the safest and richest of the states, where commercial activities moved to it after the events of Khartoum and with some (7,121,144) persons moving and staying in the area. Those displaced are the those affected by the war. Furthermore, the state budget was converted into a war budget to accommodate the exceptional circumstances that the State is going through.

Sparks of the events
The spark of events that broke out last Friday affected people living condition, security and stability and panic prevailed sending waves after waves of displacement heading to the southern areas of the state towards the city of Wad Rawa, in the town itself there were events of looting and thefts of markets. The authorities have thus issued a decision to close the bridge of Hantoub so as to cut the way off to the rebels and prevent them to intrude into the state from that direction.

Disruption of supply chains

Economist Dr. Haitham Mohamed Fathi said that the incursion of the Rapid Support militia into the state of Gezira will negatively affect the economic activity in the state as a result of the disruption of production and trade chains, causing a noticeable damage to the infrastructures, but equally spurring the capital and investment to flee from the state, along with human resources.
He told Sudan Events that the war would no doubt reshape the economic geography of Gezira state as companies and factories would be expected to cut their expenses or move abroad again in search of safety.

Trade artery
The Secretary-General of the Chamber of Commerce in the city of Atbara Saif al-Din Magled said Hantoub Bridge is considered the artery of trade, industry and agriculture, through which most of the exports, imports and products pass from central and western Sudan and to the states of the east and from there to the intersection of Haya to the northern states (Shamalia and the Nile River) these states collectively have become receiving most of the products of companies and factories that moved to the state of Gezira because of the war.

Incoming and outgoing flow
Magled predicted the impact of the bridge closure on the flow of products (exports imports) and pointing out during his statement to (Sudan Events) to the extension of the impact on all trade between the safer states if the closure is prolonged. He said this would result in a lot of destabilization and turmoil in the market. He argued that in the past the flow of products and trade movement led to the stability of markets and the availability of products and goods which is a must between supply and demand, and the stability of their prices, thus leading to stability of trade movement and life movement in most safer states
He added that the closure of Hantoub Bridge will also affect what is coming from Port Sudan to Wad Madani heading west, so prolonging the closure of Hantoub Bridge will have an impact on the movement of goods and trade, which may reflect negatively on the commodities availability in the coming days if the closure is continued for a longer period.
However, he pointed out that the internal trade movement between Wad Madani as a source of products to the western states was not affected because there is the road option and Damazin Sinnar.
He called for defeating the rebellion by the armed forces, cleaning up the remaining pockets, and reopening the Hantoob bridge as soon as possible
Although the internal roads are not affected, the states of Sinnar and Gadarif, adjacent to the state of Gezira, have declared a state of emergency and curfew.
In anticipation, the local authorities in the River Nile State issued a decision to close the Nile crossings and bridges (um al-Tair and al-Bashir bridges) next to the new Atbara bridge and the old iron bridge.
The Department of Military Intelligence Division has issued directives barring longer vehicles from coming to Gezira state for security reasons, while trucks are allowed to travel to the eastern states to Gadarif and the northern states only.
The Board of the National Chamber of Trucks has circulated guidance to its membership and employees for their safety and protection as well and of course the safety of trucks, drivers and commodities.

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