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Bread protests across Sudan gain momentum

January 22 - 2021 EL FASHER / ATBARA / KHARTOUM
Protests against soaring prices and bread and fuel shortages take place on November 1, 2020 in Atbara (Social media)
Protests against soaring prices and bread and fuel shortages take place on November 1, 2020 in Atbara (Social media)

Students in North Darfur and River Nile state took to the streets yesterday to protest against recent price increases in consumer goods and subsidised bread shortages.

Hundreds of secondary school students in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, participated in demonstrations to denounce the deteriorating economic conditions in the state and the complete absence of subsidised bread.

Chanting “we want bread”, they marched to the state government offices, where Governor Mohamed Arabi addressed them. He pledged to solve the bread problem.

In Wad Madani, the governor of El Gezira said that the bread, fuel, and cooking gas shortages will soon end, starting on Saturday, after activists expressed their discontent about the absence of progress.

River Nile, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states have also witnessed various protests against bread shortages and soaring bread prices this week, caused by continued high inflation in Sudan.

In Atbara in River Nile state, students of the Atbara Industrial School took part in protests against the increase in the price of a breakfast meal to about SDG 80*.

Badreldin Hussein told Radio Dabanga that the demonstration started from the Industrial School at about ten in the morning. The demonstrators burned tires and closed the main street in front of the school, condemning the deteriorating economic situation and high prices of meals in schools.

Subsidy amendment

The Khartoum state government issued a decision to produce and distribute bread subsidised per weight instead of loaves yesterday. The people will be able to buy a kilogram of bread for SDG 50.

The decision stipulates the provision of an electronic scale for each bakery. Cafeterias and restaurants are not allowed to sell the subsidised bread.

Governor Abdallah Idris told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the federal government in Khartoum will increase the state’s share of flour to 6,000 [100 kg] bags, and to 200 cubic meters of petrol and diesel.

He said that he called on the Council of Ministers to issue an exceptional decision to allow new employment appointments in El Gezira, explaining that there are 3,000 job vacancies in the state.

USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of posting, according to the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the CBoS. Effective foreign exchange rates however can vary widely on Sudan’s parallel market, where the greenback sold yesterday for SDG 310.

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