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Across the road another queue snakes along the pavement at the Farmers Commercial Bank which disappears once the machines are emptied of cash.
It is not that the people at the bank have no money. They do. The issue, as everyone complains, is that the central bank has not delivered money to the retail banks and so customers have not been able to access their funds. People who need to withdraw it and who now have to come day after day to make withdrawals. I came yesterday as well and slipped and hurt my back.
The crisis is not new. Many cash machines began running out of banknotes in November as the government scrambled to prevent economic collapse with a sharp devaluation and emergency austerity measures, a month before the beginning of the political crisis and protests that brought down the former dictator Omar al-Bashir on 11 April.
The currency crisis has been fuelled by longer term and more complex economic problems, not least a loss of foreign currency since Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil output when the south of the country seceded in I will have to keep coming back. The cash shortage, say some, has created unexpected problems in an economy where people have been selling what they own to get by. Big ticket items such as house and car sales now have two prices, a cheaper one for those who can pay with ready cash and a higher price for payment by cheque because confidence in the banking system has been seriously eroded.
The central bank is supposed to give the cash to the banking system. So where are the bank notes? While some believe the money has been stolen, most of the problems are due to the chronic mismanagement of the former regime. It is an economic crisis that has still not played out and could have yet more dramatic consequences.