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Sudan’s Economy Grinds to a Halt

Fuel shortages have left motorists in Sudan skipping work to queue for petrol and forced the transitional government to introduce a rationing system as it tries to manage acute economic pressures. Some people have been spending entire days in queues that stretch for several km (miles) since the fuel crisis began late last week. Coming on top of bread shortages it has piled more pressure on a government struggling to deliver improvements after the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir last April. Officials have talked about moving towards cash transfers, but still have to negotiate a plan for subsidy reform and overcome technical challenges to administer the payments. They say the current problem is caused by a broken refinery pipeline that they are working to fix, though it is unclear how long this will take. Imports and distribution of fuel have been restricted by foreign currency shortages and a lack of road transport and port capacity.