Soaring oil prices force Eritrea to suspend
Asmara, 15 October 2004 - Eritrea
said on Friday that it has suspended sales of petrol due to soaring oil prices
on the world market.
The sale of petrol has been suspended since Wednesday
afternoon "in the wake of ever-increasing oil prices on the world
market," in a bid to curb consumption in the Horn of Africa country, which
imports all its refined fuel products, said Eritrean Information Minister Ali
Abdu Ahmed in Asmara.
"Our priority is to provide petrol to public
services and development programmes in the best interest of the nation. We do
not want superfluous consumption. We cannot let the people with the money
consume all the petrol," he said.
Diesel fuel would remain available, Ahmed said.
Early in October, Eritrea put an end to nearly one
month of fuel rationing but also increased the price of refined fuel.
A litre of petrol went up by 40% to 20 nakfas (1.43
diesel went up 25% to 10 nakfas ($0,70/56 euro cents) a litre.
This time, another price increase was ruled out
because it would "affect even low-income households," Ahmed said.
"The suspension of the sale of petrol should not
provoke anxiety," he added.
He did not say when the suspension would be lifted. A
petrol station manager, who asked to remain anonymous, earlier said that he had
received an order not to sell petrol but said no reason had been given to him
for the decision. AFP
Asmara streets: No fuel, No
Photos: Sep./2004, EDN.