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Price rises spark student protests in Sudan’s central state

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January 13, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Hiked prices of sugar and petro products have spawned student protests and clashes with the police in different parts of Sudan’s central State of Al-Jazzirah, in a clear manifestation of growing public resentment over worsening economic conditions in north Sudan.

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Students protests in Sudan (AFP Photos)

Early this month, north Sudan approved an austerity plan containing sharp cuts on subsidized petro products and sugar as well as curbs on several imports. The government also slashed spending of government offices by 25 percent.

Students from Al-Jazzirah University and Madani Private College on Wednesday and Thursday held protests over government’s cuts in subsidies for Sugar and petro products, and subsequently clashed with the police who used tear gas and batons to disperse them.

The protesting students managed to reach as far as the central market in Madani town, the provincial capital, before the police was able to scatter them away. Several students sustained injured and six were arrested during the confrontation with the police.

The two-day protests spilled over to other parts of the state, including Al-Kamlin, Al-Hasahisah and Al-Hilaliah areas.

Government cuts on petro products included gasoline (from 6.5 Sudanese pounds per gallon to 8.5); diesel (from 4.5 Sudanese pounds per gallon to 6.5); cooking gas (from 12 Sudanese pounds to 13); jet fuel (from 4.5 Sudanese pounds per gallon to 6.5).

The government also raised the price of sugar by 20 Sudanese pounds per 50 kilogram (110 pounds) bag.

Sugar and petro products are vital in public life in Sudan and any increases in their prices tend to produce a domino affect on prices of other commodities and public services, whose prices have now gone steep for average Sudanese.

The cuts are part of Khartoum’s attempt to offset the economic impact of south Sudan secession and control the slump in the rates of the Sudanese pounds against the US dollar.

"A change to these sugar and fuel prices will allow the ministry of finance to save 2.06 billion Sudanese pounds," Sudan’s finance minister Ali Mahmood said in defense of the cuts last week.

The oil-rich region of South Sudan is widely expected to emerge as an independent state as a result of an ongoing vote that was promised under a 2005’s peace deal that ended nearly two decades of civil war with the north.

Sudan produces some 500,000 barrels per day of oil, but only 100,000-110,000 bpd are from wells in the north. The economy is dependent on oil for some 45 percent of its budget and most of its foreign currency revenues.

In November Sudan temporarily devalued the Sudanese pound to match the black market, hoping to bring more foreign currency into official trade and destroy the parallel market. So far it has met with limited success with banks still unable to meet the demand for foreign currency.

Sudan has spent heavily on government and defense while increasing its debt and imports to cover a fall in local production, leading to foreign exchange shortages, rising inflation and a weakening Sudanese pound

(ST)

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  • 14 January 2011 11:35, by Garang Ngong

    Students there have right to protest against the increse in prices of commodities. What is wrong with Government in Khartoum? meanwhile factories and industries are operating day and night.

    repondre message

    • 14 January 2011 12:49, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      It still very early to start protest in central Sudan
      wait and see.

      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

      repondre message

    • 14 January 2011 21:55, by saban John

      I strongly agree with the students and urge them to continue protesting against the Government of south sudan headed by splm. SPLM have destroyed the economy making the food prices to go up. This is what the arabs have been advising southerners for long time that you guys are not ready to governed because you have no educated people but they don’t listen.

      I am only disappointed in you because you seem to be blaming the north instead of South sudan, the real cause of the high food prices. I therefore urge you to direct your anger to the splm lead governemnt both in south and north of sudan.

      thanks

      repondre message

      • 15 January 2011 06:17, by piol

        saban john.I strongly disagree because you cant blame southerners for your government’s bullshit.we southernersare taking what’s wrightfully ours,our land. when we seprate will see where north gets foods from.Our land is the most fertile land on earth.what you dont realize is without the south the northerners are dead man walking.(agricultural wise)cultivating along the nile will not feed the northern population. The one thing i wanted to straighten out is that we ARE more educated than the north. we make sure to teach our students subjects that are used worldwide,English for example thats a language used in the entire world...arabic is a way of trapping our young minds from expanding and exploring the outside world. so MR.Saban please dont underestimate what the SOUTH can do...

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  • 14 January 2011 12:19, by Denganekbiok

    I personally support students, student should know that NCP is full of such characters. the rulling party NCP may even killing them using police force. these police personells who clashed with students have families who on the other hand went to the markets and buy food stuff, they have felt the pain of price being higher. Actually, government have seen you but i think it will do nothing for you students to get back to a normal position, this government might have been bribe by traders and you do not know guys. Keep presurising your government but for us, we are going away, actually that is why we southerners are going from you and your government as well.

    repondre message

  • 14 January 2011 15:05, by Peter Elia Kuzee

    Let the goverment be careful,this is the begining of problems in the capital before separatiom.

    repondre message

  • 27 March 2013 19:30, by dennishobson

    trgNwPlpjiW6Hp6Tvp0id5HX7W71aScarros ssanyong deck madeira plastica composite decking very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

    repondre message

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