The Sudanese banking sector has been mired in a state of paralysis since the eruption of war between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15. Amid feeble efforts to reinstate services, the North African country’s Central Bank has taken it upon itself to address the crisis.
The banking sector, including the Central Bank of Sudan, has faced significant disruptions leading to the suspension of services, all stemming from the extensive damage inflicted on their electronic systems.
It began with power outages, initially impeding operations, followed by deliberate acts of sabotage targeting control centers and core computer systems.
As a result, ATM networks were rendered inoperable and subject to widespread acts of vandalism and looting.
Additionally, e-payment applications and direct banking activities came to a standstill.
Consequently, an acute liquidity crisis unfolded, exacerbated by opportunistic “brokers” who took advantage of the prevailing wartime circumstances.
The Central Bank has declared that it has restored services at its branches and at commercial banks across the states outside the capital, denying that the looting has impacted depositors.
Observers said these actions merely scratch the surface of the wider calamity that has gripped Sudan’s banking and financial system.
Despite the resumption of operations in some branches of the Central Bank and commercial banks outside Khartoum, restoring normal banking services faces challenges.
Millions of depositors in Khartoum cannot access branches in other states given the ongoing violence. Those who have access have to wait in long queues for services that are being carried out manually after electornic services came to a halt.
The Central Bank has announced its commitment to restoring banking services nationwide.
This dire situation emerged due to the near-total absence of law enforcement and security, which lawless gangs have exploited for looting.