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Silencing the guns in Sudan

May 09,2023 - Last updated at May 09,2023

Putting an end to the conflict in Sudan is crucial for both regional and international interests. Sudan's geostrategic economic position is not only significant for the Arab world, but also for many African countries and the world at large. The stability of Sudan has a direct impact on 17 neighbouring African countries and other neighbouring countries, such as Egypt, which depends on Sudan for exports and imports. With a population of over 500 million people, the level of development of Sudan's economy affects many countries' supply chains of critical commodities, such as cotton and gum Arabic, which represent 75 per cent of global production.

Furthermore, Sudan's economy has been suffering from economic slowdown, rising budget deficit and indebtedness. Continuation of the war in Sudan means the country is losing over half a billion dollars every day, leading to economic stagnation, which will make it difficult to repay its debts to regional and international financial institutions. Sudan's industry, which is concentrated in the manufacturing industries that depend on agricultural products such as textiles, oils and sugar, is also affected by the ongoing conflict.

Sudan's importance stems from the availability of water and arable agricultural land, with nearly one-third of its total area of 1.9 million square kilometers dedicated to agricultural activities, making it a confirmed global "food basket". Sudan is also a crucial transit point for many closed countries surrounding it, which depend on the port of Port Sudan to provide their needs from abroad. The continuation of the war in Sudan will impact the balance of payments of those countries and affect their creditworthiness to various financing institutions.

The conflict in Sudan also has a direct impact on water security in Nile Basin countries. The prolongation of the war in Sudan may have repercussions on the volume of water coming to the Nile through Sudan and reaching Egypt, especially after the emergence of the possibility of exploiting the war in Sudan to fill the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, as some experts say. If the conflict in Sudan is prolonged, it will impede economic development and stability in the region, destroy infrastructure, disrupt businesses and stop basic services such as education and healthcare.

Silencing the guns and ending the war in Sudan is crucial to achieving lasting peace and reconciliation between different ethnic and political groups, and provides an opportunity for dialogue, negotiation and the establishment of inclusive governance structures that address the root causes of conflict. Stopping the war in Sudan is a demand of all the peoples of the region and requires serious and sincere regional and international cooperation and support.

Every shot fired towards the other side is tantamount to killing a human soul, killing love between people, and planting seeds of hatred in people’s hearts, which will take years and years to be forgotten, and will open the doors to more conflicts and wars in the region, the region and the world.

 

Adli Kandah is an economic and financial adviser

 

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