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Sudan: How PM Hamdok is securing state-owned enterprises

By Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 18:17

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a session of the summit to support Soudan, Monday 17 May 2021 at the Grand Palais Ephemere in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

Sudan's former president Omar al-Bashir put vast chunks of the economy under the control of his regime's security services: police, army and intelligence.

The army controls irrigation projects, meat-processing plants, import-export activities, retail operations and manufacturing units. The police turned every service they deliver – from passports to identity cards to number plates – into a company.

When Bashir was ousted in April 2019, the army moved to consolidate power in various lucrative sectors previously run by the intelligence services.

Sabika, a gold bullion company that supplies the central bank, comes under the control of the National Intelligence Services, says Suliman Baldo of the US-based The Sentry think tank.

So far the transitional government under Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has scored two small but vital victories: first, publishing a partial list of state-owned enterprises.