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Khartoum protests against price increase in fuel and basic goods

January 30 - 2021 KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN
Protestors build a road block in Khartoum on January 28 (Social media)
Protestors build a road block in Khartoum on January 28 (Social media)

Demonstrations demanding that the government drops the policy of removing subsidies on basic goods and services are planned to take place today by North Khartoum Resistance Committees, following separate protests against the steady increase in price of basic commodities due to increased transport tariffs.

North Khartoum Resistance Committees will march to the Republican Palace and the Council of Ministers in Khartoum to protest the rise in prices.

People reported to Radio Dabanga that they have been waiting in queues for hours at petrol stations, urging the government to activate monitoring mechanisms and control distribution outlets.

A fuel station worker said that there is an abundance of petrol/benzine and a shortage of diesel as a result of high consumption compared to the quantity. He explained that the station's share of fuel is 4,000 gallons per day and that some stations have run out of their share, which is causing queues at pumps.

Vehicles waiting in front of a petrol station (Social media)

 

Separate protests against the deterioration of living conditions and the increase in the prices of bread and fuel, reportedly organised by affiliates of the ousted Al Bashir regime, continued in Khartoum and a number of state capitals on Thursday. The protesters also called for the toppling of the current government.

Protesters closed the El Fitihab bridge between Omdurman and Khartoum. Another group marched to the office of the Empowerment* Elimination Committee in Khartoum.

Members of North Khartoum Resistance Committees accused affiliates of the ousted regime of Omar Al Bashir of putting up the road blocks, and strongly condemned what they described as “saboteurs and predators who take advantage of this crisis to attack ordinary people and their property, and raise slogans to empower the military.”

They considered this as “miserable attempts by the remnants of the former regime and those lying in wait to drive a wedge of discord between the revolutionary forces and the people,” calling for more organisation, alignment, and networking to isolate the movement.

Protestors burn tyres in Khartoum (Social media)

 

This week, protests have spread throughout Khartoum and number of other cities and towns in response to the high prices and general lack of bread, fuel, and water.

The price of basic commodities, in particular vegetables, is steadily increasing after the Sudanese authorities’ implemented plans to align the domestic selling price of fuel with international price levels. After fluctuating between SDG 300 and SDG 310 on the Khartoum parallel market over the last few days, the price of the greenback jumped to SDG 326 yesterday.

High inflation rates are also caused by a high exchange rate of the Dollar, increases in production costs and taxes, and the 2020 budget. The daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) remains fixed at a record high of USD 1 = SDG 55.1375.

On Sunday, an agreement on new fuel prices was reached between acting Minister of Energy and Mining, Kheiri Abdelrahman, and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

Road block lifted

In eastern Sudan, the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway block was lifted on Thursday.

Three days ago, the road was closed by supporters of Mohamed Tahir Ayala, former governor of El Gezira and Red Sea state, and Prime Minister of Sudan between February and April 2019. He was deposed in the military coup on April 11 that year along with the other members of the regime of Omar Al Bashir.

A listener from the Red Sea state capital, Port Sudan, told Radio Dabanga has disrupted travel and delayed fuel deliveries arriving from Khartoum. The price of travel from Sinkat to Port Sudan has increased, and the town has also seen an increase in the price of goods from Port Sudan.

* At the end of 2019, the Sudanese government established the Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee, with the aim to purge the country of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.


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