School students join protest against Sudan's subsidy cuts
Secondary school students in Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman went out in demonstrations against the increase of prices nationwide on Thursday. The Sudanese Pound has reached its predicted lows, trading at SDG20 for 1 US Dollar.
Riot police confronted the protests in Bahri's Shambat neighbourhood and Ombadda in Omdurman with violence, activists reported to Radio Dabanga. Hundreds of school students staged their anger against the expensive medicines, electricity, and fuel, chanting slogans to denounce the lifting of subsidies on these products. The government implemented a set of austerity measures on 4 November, causing a series of protests in Sudanese cities.
RD photo: Secondary school students gather and lift banners to protest the austerity measures on Thursday.
Students demonstrated in En Nahud in West Kordofan, and Jebeit in eastern Sudan, too. They followed a day after the demonstration in Atbara in River Nile state and one protest in front of the Faculty of Medicine in Khartoum's Palace street.
University students in En Nahud also criticised their university administration’s imposition of tuition fees on students who are legally exempt from paying these fees. A skirmish between students erupted following a gathering in the university's discussion corner.
“Students affiliated with the National Congress Party attacked other students with sticks. After that a group of students went out on the street to protest,” a student told Radio Dabanga. The police used tear gas to disperse them.
The US Dollar in Khartoum's parallel markets has risen to SDG20, as economists have warned. Economist Mohamed El Jak told Radio Dabanga that under the “sterile policies” applied by the Finance Ministry, the Sudanese economy has reached a total collapse.
“The new incentives policy will not bring any positive results because the Central Bank has insufficient cash reserves to intervene and control the exchange rate as Egypt has recently done,” El Jak said.
It is time to take on new policies, he said. “Doubling production by focusing on agriculture, combating corruption in all sectors, and developing strategic plans by experts. Not just by employees who carry out what the Sudanese President and the ruling party say.”
On Wednesday, the National Parliament agreed to increase fuel and electricity prices in the country. Eleven Members of Parliament objected while four refrained from voting.
The Parliament also decided to reduce the constitutional allocations, including those of the MPs and Committee Chairmen, by at least 25 per cent.
During the session the Minister of Finance, Badreldin Mahmoud reported a reduction of travel and fuel costs during diplomatic missions by 50 per cent.
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