Protests were held in towns and cities across Sudan at the weekend to call for the end to the military junta and a return to civilian government. Protests also erupted as a result of soaring prices for bread and basic commodities, as the Sudanese economy falters in the run-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The town of Atbara, in River Nile state, witnessed large demonstrations on Sunday. Activists closed the bridge over the river in protest against the soaring prices, and against the military coup, demanding civil government.
Badreldin Hussein told Radio Dabanga that the railway workers in Atbara carried out a protest and strike on Sunday calling for the payment of their salaries of February, before they conducted a demonstration in solidarity with the people and school students, protesting the dire living condition. Protesters closed the “Freedom Bridge” for hours before police opened it with tear gas.
Hussein pointed to the rise of the price of bread to SDG50 from SDG30. He said the demonstrators raised slogans demanding military return to the barracks and full civil governance, and they faced excessive violence from the police using tear gas to disperse them.
In Northern State, the Dongola Resistance Committees Coordination organised a demonstration to the Secretariat of the state government on Sunday, refusing the coup and claim the full civil governance.
The processions with people from various parts of the state marched towards the secretariat of the government chanting “no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy” to the military junta.
In Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, student demonstrations broke out on Sunday, in protest against rising prices, in particular of bread and transportation.
A listener told Radio Dabanga that the students were chanting cheers demanding the suspension of ongoing prices and explained that many schools did not open their doors on Sunday for fear of more spontaneous student protests.
In eastern Khartoum, government forces used live ammunition heavily on peaceful demonstrators in the Burri neighbourhood and Obeid Khitim Street on Sunday.
Daily demonstrations in Burri and neighbouring neighbourhoods started a few days ago in protest against the killing of two demonstrators on Thursday and the military coup.
Members of neighbourhood committees in Khartoum North organised a protest in Shambat North on Sunday against the coup and solidarity with political detainees and protest against the high cost of living. They announced similar protests on Monday and Tuesday.
The Khartoum’s Resistance Committees Coordination called on the people to participate in the March 14 Marches of Millions for the Political Detainees.
They said in a statement on Sunday that the revolution will continue until to drop the coup and access to the Rule of Law.
“Sudan is paying for the failure of the coup authority, reflected in the deterioration of economic and health conditions and the educational process, insecurity throughout the country, among other issues”, the statement said. “The coup authority has failed to solve the problems with which they justified the coup, like the split in political forces and the dire living conditions [..]”.
Most Khartoum bakeries on Sunday increased the bread prices to SDG50 a loaf instead of three loaves for SDG1.
The owners of bakeries attributed the increase to the rise in flour prices, where the price of 100kg flour this weekend rose to SDG23,000 from SDG21,000.
The El Gezira radio and television reported soaring prices of transportation, as well as basic consumer goods, especially sugar, oil, sorghum and millet, wheat, and meat, as the month of Ramadan is nearing, and people have begun to prepare for the fast.
Fuel stations have seen another rise in fuel prices, leading to new increased transportation prices.
People in the state complained of a significant rise in commodity prices, in particular sugar, a main consumer commodity in Sudan. A 50 kg bag of sugar is sold for more than SDG20,000.
In addition, the prices of spices and other popular Ramadan supplies, such as hibiscus, tamarind and baobab fruit rose.
Various Sudanese explained the price chaos to Radio Dabanga by pointing to “the greed among a number of traders” along with the general and administrative chaos and lack of control of the markets in the country after the coup.
Meanwhile, the dollar exchange rate recorded a new record in banks and the parallel market on Sunday, and the price of the dollar in the Bank of Khartoum reached SDG605, an increase of five Pounds on Thursday.
Forex traders at the parallel markets told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the exchange rate of the Dollar exceeded SDG615 with volatility and disorder in the markets.
Khartoum and Red Sea state witnessed a sharp crisis in fuel the past few days, and sources predicted an imminent rise in fuel prices on Monday (today). In Kassala, the price of fuel already rose significantly on Sunday.