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Sudanese protest price hikes in Khartoum, West Kordofan

January 28 - 2018 KHARTOUM / EL MUJLAD
Omdurman vigil, January 2018 (RD)
Omdurman vigil, January 2018 (RD)

Small-scale demonstrations against soaring prices in Sudan took place in Khartoum and Omdurman on Thursday and Friday. The Sudanese Congress Party organised a rally in El Mujlad in West Kordofan in protest against the new austerity measures set in the 2018 National Budget.

Daily expenses doubled and in many cases tripled for the Sudanese after the government decided to liberalise the prices of basic consumer goods and raise the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18 in early January. At the same time, the Dollar rate on the parallel forex market increased from SDG 28 to SDG 34.50 in the following two weeks.

Dozens of young people arranged a public discussion about the government’s economic policies at the bus station near the Khartoum Stadium on Thursday evening.

The event turned into a demonstration that moved around the station. The protesters called upon the Sudanese “to revolt and uproot the regime”.

After midday prayers on Friday, activist members of the National Umma Party (NUP) staged a protest in front of El Hijra Mosque in Omdurman. In speeches, they called on the people to join the resistance committees in the Khartoum neighbourhoods, and to participate in a mass demonstration scheduled by political opposition parties at El Shaabiya square in Khartoum North for Wednesday.

Adam Ahmed Yousif, Imam of El Hijra Mosque in Wad Nubawi in Omdurman, condemned the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters the past weeks in his Friday prayers sermon. He also denounced the flooding of the El Ahliya schoolyard with sewage water in an attempt to prevent a mass demonstration against the government policies, organised by the NUP.

According to the Imam, the Sudanese are suffering from “an undeclared economic disaster and famine… The time has come to change the regime. It should leave, so that democracy can be restored,” he said.

In a statement on Friday, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of leftist opposition parties) called on the Sudanese to continue their protests on a daily basis “to exhaust the organs of the oppressive regime, and develop the protest movement into mass actions, including civil disobedience”.

Members of the Sudanese Congress Party in El Mujlad in West Kordofan organised a public speech in front of the Grand Mosque after Friday noon prayers.

The speaker held the government responsible for “the impoverishment and starvation of the people”. He pointed to the protests against the latest austerity measures, and called on the Sudanese “to confront these measures by all means”.

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