By Alison Bate
The capital of Sudan feels a little lost and empty these days.
The distinctive Dinkas – the impossibly tall, thin Southerners – and their fellow compatriots have mostly left Khartoum for their new homeland and the deadline for the rest to leave is just months away.
After April 9, 2012, any southerners remaining will become stateless or, if they are lucky, have to get work visas like other foreigners.
The new country of South Sudan, born on the 9th of July, has taken with it the biggest chunk of Sudan’s oil revenues and Khartoum seems totally unprepared for the loss of all that money.
It will have to find new ways to make an income and meanwhile the residents of Khartoum and its sister cities of Omdurman and Khartoum North are hurting as prices shoot upward.
“Everybody want to leave Sudan. Why you come to Sudan from Canada?” asked one resident, only half-joking.
The price of a sheep shot up to between 400 and 700 Sudanese Pounds (SP) for the Haj earlier this year – the religious occasion when every family buys a sheep.
Translating this into US dollars is not even easy, as there’s a huge gap between the official exchange rate and what you can get on the black market. Continue reading