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Protests against new bread prices, lack of govt action criticised in Sudan states

January 19 - 2021 ED DAMAZIN / WAD MADANI / EL OBEID
School students walking home in Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile state (agri2day.com).
School students walking home in Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile state (agri2day.com).

In Ed Damazin, Blue Nile state, students took to the streets on Monday, in protest against a 250 per cent increase in bread prices. Activists in El Gezira and North Kordofan expressed their discontent about the absence of progress in the states.

Security forces confronted the demonstrators with violence, using rubber bullets and tear gas, one of the protestors told Radio Dabanga.

“The price of a subsidised loaf of bread in Ed Damazin increased from SDG 2 to SDG 5, while the transportation tariff rose from SDG 30 to SDG 100,” he said.

“We were already struggling to survive, but now life has become impossible. My father gives me about SDG 1,000 each month. He does not have more. The new prices mean in fact I may have to stop my studies.”

Akhbar El Sudan reported this morning a new record high of the US Dollar rate on the Khartoum parallel market. The greenback sold for SDG 288 this morning, an increase of against SDG 280 on Thursday.

The annual inflation rate for December recorded 269.33 per cent compared to 254.34 in November.

The extremely high food prices and below-average household purchasing power will lead to food insecurity in several parts of the country, the Sudan Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported in its Sudan outlook update of December last year.

Criticism

Members of Resistance Committees being active in the neighbourhoods of Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, have sharply criticised the state authorities for their failure to achieve any progress following the December Revolution.

Activist leader Asad Abdelgader said in a press conference yesterday that the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in El Gezira “have not done anything for the people so far. They did not touch issues of unemployment for instance, quotas in jobs and civil service.”

The political forces in El Gezira “are not based on real rules”, he said. “They have been unable to present a vision to the governor to improve the situation in the state.” He also criticised the lack of transparency of the FFC group in the state.

Abdelgader denounced “the continuation of the policies of the former regime in El Gezira”. He referred to the continuing fuel and flour shortages and transportation crises, and the selection of directors of state ministries “from outside”, without adhering to the standards of the official nomination committee.

Furthermore, people are still detained without charges. for the continuation of the detentions outside the law.

Also in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, people are not happy with the lack of development.

The North Kordofan department of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, an alliance of progressive political parties) announced in a press statement yesterday that they have withdrawn their confidence in Governor Khaled Mustafa.

They urge the North Kordofan government to adjust their policies, and work on the improvement of security and the civil services in the state. They also call for retribution for the victims of the El Obeid massacre that took place in July 2019.

The NCF also criticised the FFC, and told them “to take a position that reflects their mission”.

Last year, people disappointed in the course of the 2018 December revolution took to the streets more than once, calling for the continuation of the uprising and improvement of their livelihoods. On December 19, participants of the March of Millions in Khartoum called for “a renewal of the demonstrations that brought down the former regime”.


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