World Bulletin/News Desk
Prices of commercial goods have significantly risen in South Sudanese capital Juba ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
“The Central Bank hasn’t provided dollars for traders in the past three months which reduced the supply of goods,” Ahmed Ibrahim, a trader in Juba’s prominent Congo Congo commercial street, told Anadolu Agency.
The South Sudanese government has said it will restrict dollar expendture for purchasing fuel, funding military operations and importing supplies for stricken families in conflict zones.
South Sudanese traders also complain of rising costs of transport from Kenya’s Mumbasa seaport to local markets.
“The government is responsible for these price hikes,” shopper Fatma Gwan told AA. “Different traders offer the same goods at varying prices which indicates lack of monitoring by the government,” she added.
Black market exchange rates for the U.S. dollar have reached 4.5 pounds to $1, compared to official rate of 3.5 pounds to $3.16.
Prices of basic commodities have been greatly affected. Over the past week alone, prices of sugar and flour have increased by 22 percent and 30 percent respectively, ahead of the three-day Muslim holiday which starts Monday.
“The prices have rapidly risen as Eid approaches,” Gwan said.
The three-day Muslim feast celebrates the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice-president Riek Machar of plotting to overthrow his regime.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in subsequent fighting, while large swathes of the population continue to face an increasingly grave humanitarian crisis.
In recent months, the two rivals have held on-again, off-again peace negotiations in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a Djibouti-based East African trade bloc.
In June, both sides agreed to form a transitional government within 60 days, i.e., before August 10.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2014, 10:42