Lakes State denies alleged Rumbek market closure over inflation

Lakes State denies alleged Rumbek market closure over inflation
Lakes State denies alleged Rumbek market closure over inflation

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. Lakes State government dismissed reports that traders in local markets have closed their shops over the sharp decline in value of the South Sudan pound, but verified photos show a closed section of the market.

Recent reports on social media alleged that the main market in Rumbek has been closed after the town mayor disagreed with traders who have adjusted commodity prices with the exchange rate.

But the state Minister of Information Paul Cabiet Ayang denied the allegations, adding that the mayor of Rumbek city has never imposed prices on the traders.

Minister Ayang said the government only encourages the traders not to increase the prices of the basic food commodities that are not necessarily impacted by the dollar rate.

Ayang could not specify the commodities whose prices are not affected by the inflation.

In an interview with Eye Radio from Rumbek on Monday, Ayang said Rumbek Market remains open, although some traders are protesting the government decision.

“Rumbek market is not closed. However, there are elements of businessmen who are protesting the market regulation on essential commodities,” he said.

“But they have been advised by the government. So, the Mayor did not close down the market does not impose prices, but they were advised not to unnecessarily raise from basic commodities that have not been that did not necessarily get affected by the dollar rate.”

“Because the Rumbek traders are increasing the prices even for the goods that for the last three months are in abundance. They were advised to keep them at in certain rate. However, some individual businessmen are protesting this.”

However, a photo taken on March 3, 2024, and authenticated by Eye Radio show a line of closed shops in one section of the market.

Last week, Rumbek residents raised concerns about the increasing prices of food and other essential commodities in local markets, adding that they feared of even more severe situations.

The residents attribute the surge in prices to the unfavorable exchange rate of the US dollar.

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