The current conflict in Sudan will have economic, social and political repercussions in a number of countries, believes John Mukum Mbaku, professor.
Sudan, third country in Africa by its area, shares its borders with Sept country in an unstable region. This means that the current conflict in Sudan will have economic, social and political repercussions on a number of countries, including the Central African Republic, Egypt, Libya, Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. .
The conflict could also affect countries further afield, including the United States, Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, which have close economic ties with Sudan. It could destabilize the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa and jeopardize American interests in these regions. It could also delay ratification, for the legislative assembly which has not yet been formed, of the agreement allowing Russia to build a naval base in Port Sudan. Finally, the conflict could hamper trade between Sudan and the Gulf States, namely the [United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia (https://oec.world/en/profile/bilateral-country/are/partner /sdn).
Mediafixer main exports of the Sudan are gold, which reported a total of US$2,85 billion in 2021, groundnut (US$488 million), crude oil (385 million USD), and sheep and goats (239 million USD), all sold mainly to the United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, India and Italy.
Sudan (and South Sudan) exported around 132 barrels of crude oil per day in 000, with the United Arab Emirates accounting for 2021% of these exports. Sudan is also the world's largest exporter of gum arabic, a key ingredient for many food industries. The harvest of this product was disrupted by the conflict.
Mediafixer main imports of Sudan are raw sugar, refined oil, wheat, medicines and cars. Suppliers are mainly China, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India and Egypt. The current conflict could derail this trade and create economic problems for Sudan and its trading partners.
Sudan is not a major export market for these countries, but they should be concerned about instability in Khartoum for at least two reasons. First, the conflict could destabilize the region and harm these countries' efforts to expand their exports. Second, Sudan is located on the Red Sea. Instability could interfere with trade flows through the Suez Canal, thus limiting the ability of these countries to trade with the rest of the world.
Port Sudan, which lies about 169 nautical miles from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is an important crossing point for thousands of Muslims from the west and other parts of Africa who embark for Hajj at the Mecca via the Jeddah Islamic Port. In addition, most Nigerian air carriers in the Hajj transit through Sudanese airspace on their way to Mecca. Violent conflict in Sudan could force these transporters to seek alternative, more expensive and longer routes, which could prevent many Muslims from successfully performing this important religious ritual.
In addition, 90% of Sudan's foreign trade passes through Port Sudan. The port is also an important commercial maritime gateway for neighboring landlocked countries. Blocking the port could aggravate already acute shortages of key commodities, including food.
Port Sudan also has a container port that handles trade to and from various parts of the world. There are claims that Russia is seeking to build a military base in Port Sudan to allow its warships access to one of the busiest and most disputed shipping lanes in the world – the Suez Canal – and to influence it.
Should Sudan's neighbors get involved on either side of the conflict, the region could find itself embroiled in civil war, largely because people in the border areas share a common heritage.
Two countries are likely to suffer most if the conflict escalates: Egypt and South Sudan.
Sudan rides the Nile. Its main tributaries meet at Khartoum and then flow downstream to Egypt, which needs water. Khartoum's fragility could affect Egypt's freshwater supply and hence its economic and social development.
Instability in Khartoum could also derail efforts to reach an agreement on filling and managing the great ethiopian renaissance dam. This could create problems, not only for Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, but also for the entire Nile basin.
Le grand ethiopian renaissance dam is a hydroelectric project that Cairo considers a threat to its use of the Nile. Since Ethiopia started building the dam in 2011, Egypt has counted on the cooperation of Khartoum to combat the dangers believed to threaten the security of its water supply.
Cairo may view Sudan's security situation as a threat to a mutually agreed tripartite treaty acceptable for filling and managing the dam. A peaceful and democratic Sudan is therefore important for Egypt and the other countries of the Nile Basin.
Ninety percent of Sudan's economy relies on oil, which is exported via Sudan to Port Sudan. A conflict in Khartoum could seriously disrupt oil shipments and cause economic collapse in South Sudan.
Outside the African continent, three countries have a vested interest in seeing Sudan return to peaceful coexistence: the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
The Russian Federation: la Russia above all wishes to have access to the enormous resources of the country, in particular gold, uranium, oil and its port facilities. Going forward, Russia also has a lot to lose. It has been seeking for some time to establish a military base in Port Sudan, which would accommodate approximately 300 soldiers and would give russian warships access to and influence over the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.
Russia hopes its anchorage in Sudan will give it better access to other countries in North Africa and the Horn of Africa. A major civil war would delay or frustrate this project.
United States : Some foreign governments, such as the United States, have indicated that they want to help Sudan establish democratic institutions and a process of government based on the rule of law. Others might want to put themselves in a position to exploit the country and its resources. However, since he signed the Abraham's Agreements, Sudan has become an important player in Washington's efforts to improve diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab states.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): The UAE has military and commercial assets in Eritrea, Somaliland, Somalia and the southern coast of Yemen. They have everything to gain from a peaceful Sudan. Under the administration of Omar al-Bashir – the military leader who ruled Sudan for three decades until his overthrow in a popular uprising in 2019 – Sudan has received billions of dollars in aid from of the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates has also benefited from this relationship. For example, Sudan has become a major exporter ofor to the UAE.
Finally, continued instability in Sudan could exacerbate the already serious humanitarian situation in many neighboring countries of Sudan, such as Chad, which has hosted hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees.