African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies: Study on the war economy in Darfur: The cross-border automobile trade, January 2014 – March 2017

(28 September 2018) Starting in 1989, the Sudanese economy began to lose its memberships in the major economic organizations. That came on the heels of efforts to implement what was called an Islamic economic system, although it was nothing but slogans for which the political Islam project could find no precedents for practical application. In addition, the economy suffered the impact of neglect of agricultural, pastoral and forest resources. Later, by the year 1997, the Sudan had come to depend on oil as a basic resource. Oil revenues were shrouded in secrecy under the control of an influential group within the ruling party. However, revenues were allocated to finance armed struggles against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and later against armed opposition movements in the Darfur region.

The Sudan started making efforts to meet the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2001. However, it quickly became evident that there were obstacles to the transition to a free market system. The situation remained as it was, without any serious efforts to overcome it, throughout the transitional period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005-2011). After the separation of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of oil revenues, forced attempts were made to eliminate subsidies for commodities in 2012, 2013 and 2016 in order to comply with IMF conditions. None of those austerity measures was accompanied by rehabilitation of depleted agricultural resources and forests.