Cars are seen lined up at every petrol station in Khartoum as delays lasted for hours to obtain petrol. Soldiers were posted at these stations to maintain order.
The fuel crisis coupled with the cash inadequacies and power cuts has put a strain on the country’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC), established after the arrest of Bashir on April 11th.
The TMC has been in a constant battle with the opposition on who should be leading the civilian-military joint government to rule the country till elections are to be held. There is mounting protest to push the council to hand over the powers to the civilians.
Almost a dozen ATMs located in the commercial areas of central Khartoum has no cash at present and there are dozens of people lined up outside the ones which are dispensing cash. A Reuters witness stated that one of the ATMs located on the main road of central Khartoum had over 88 customers.
The long lines were not seen during the times when the ATMs had cash.
“I am looking for an ATM since morning to withdraw some cash,” said Ahmed Yassin, 52. ” I have been waiting in line for three hours now, I need the cash to buy goods for Ramadan for my family”.
A banking employee who wishes to remain anonymous stated that majority of the ATMs had no cash.
Majority of the Sudanese workers are paid at the beginning of the month, and there is an increased tendency of spending in the month of Ramadan which started the 6th of May.
The limit on maximum withdrawal has been set at 2,000 Sudanese pounds ($45). Some individuals have established several accounts to overcome this restriction.
Majority of the residential areas of Khartoum experience daily power cuts lasting for serval hours and to worsen the situation the temperature currently reaches 45 degree Celsius.
Bashir’s government had accumulated deep budget deficits by providing subsidies on fuel, bread and other commodities. In order to overcome this deficit, it required a greater supply of money.
This led to debasing the currency, leading to inflation and reduction of the value of Sudanese pound against other currencies.
Attempts made to increase the price of bread and fuel while minimizing the cost of subsidies had sparked wide protests which led to the expelling of Bashir lead government last month.