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Sat. May 25th, 2024

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan highlighted the detrimental impact of the ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan on his country’s economy. President Kiir emphasized the urgent need to mitigate the economic repercussions by bolstering food production to reduce reliance on oil revenues, which have been significantly affected by the regional turmoil.

President Kiir’s remarks mark the first time he has publicly acknowledged the profound consequences of the Sudanese conflict on South Sudan’s economy. The declaration of force majeure by Sudan, citing operational challenges in regions under paramilitary rapid support, has disrupted vital production stations, exacerbating economic strains in South Sudan.

Addressing the nation on April 3, 2024, during the inaugural session of the reconstituted transitional national legislative assembly, President Kiir disclosed measures to alleviate economic pressures. Despite a recent 400% increase in civil servant salaries, the country’s heavy reliance on oil revenues renders such initiatives insufficient in light of depreciating currency values and scarcities of essential goods and services.

President Kiir urged stakeholders to embrace democratic dialogue as a means to resolve issues without resorting to political violence, stressing the imperative of diversifying revenue streams and enhancing local production. He directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to revive dormant agricultural schemes nationwide, aiming to bolster food production and alleviate dependency on oil exports, which are hampered by the Sudanese conflict.

South Sudan’s economy heavily relies on the export of oil, primarily facilitated through Sudan. However, disruptions in oil delivery and transit due to the Sudanese conflict pose grave threats to South Sudan’s economic stability. Experts, government officials, and opposition leaders have cautioned against the looming risk of economic collapse, which could precipitate societal breakdown and undermine law and order.

President Kiir underscored the importance of transitioning from oil dependence to a more sustainable economic model centered on food production. He emphasized the imperative of securing fuel and basic commodities while prioritizing agricultural revitalization as a fundamental solution to the economic challenges exacerbated by the Sudanese conflict. As South Sudan navigates these turbulent economic waters, concerted efforts toward diversification and self-sufficiency remain paramount for safeguarding its future prosperity.

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