El Fasher grand market indicates decrease of violence in Darfur

10:55, December 23, 2009      

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El Fasher market, which lies at the center of El Fasher city, capital of North Darfur State, is crowded with customers who are roaming the market in search for what they want to buy.

But two years ago, it was totally different.

"Two years ago, the trade movement was very weak and commodities from neighboring states couldn't find access to El Fasher market due to security disorder and banditry activities," Mohamed Abdalla, a citizen in El Fasher, told Xinhua.

He said the movement in the market is an indicator for stability in El Fasher city.

"El Fasher market is the most important in the city, and when it is flourished, it means the security situation in the whole state is fine," he noted.

According to Abdalla, trade movement is now active in El Fasher market, where hundreds of trucks carrying commodities arrive to north Darfur on daily basis.

As it incarnates the life of the whole city, the grand market of El Fasher remains the most credible indicator of security situation in the north Darfur.

The market is an important commercial trade center as it attracts commodities from neighboring states such as South Darfur and from neighboring countries such as Chad and Libya.

The market opens for merchants and customers since early morning and closes at sunset. Nowadays, it is always crowded from midday on, as employees usually go to the market at the end of their working day.

Abaker Ismail, another citizen from El Fasher, also felt a great change at the market.

"Presently, this market opens until sunset. The merchants and the customers are no longer afraid of security incidents due to the improvement in the situations," he said.

He added that all types of commodities are available in the market including vegetables and fruits, clothes, perfumes and others.

For his part, Hamad Abdalla, who owns a grocery at the market, told Xinhua that there was a great commercial movement with considerable expansion in the market and the emergence of modern cafeterias and restaurants, which he said indicated that things have returned to normal in El Fasher.

Darfur is one of the most contributing regions to Sudan's national economy due to its diversified climate, fertile soil and broad agricultural and geographical area which amounts to 500,000 square kilometers, or 20 percent of Sudan's total area.

Darfur, which includes three states (North, South and West Darfur States) is characterized by formidable animal and forest resources together with its border trade with Libya, Chad and Central Africa Republic, besides mineral and petroleum wealth.

The region, for decades, has remained an important economic source for the Sudanese population, but the civil war had its negative impact on the economic life there.

El Tayeb al-Gaddal, Minister of Finance of North Darfur State, told Xinhua that there were arrangements to revive the agricultural sector in the state, which enjoys fertile lands and water resources.

"The state is witnessing a great economic development and active investment movement represented in the flow of commodities into the city's markets, including the grand market of El Fasher," he said.

The minister said the improvement of security and humanitarian situations in the state had a positive effect on the economic and commercial movement.

"There is also a development in border trade between North Darfur and Libya where commercial convoys started to flow from Libya into the state through the land port of Malut," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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