Home | News    Wednesday 25 September 2013

Sudan’s NCP accuses SRF rebels & opposition of inciting protests that spread to Khartoum

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September 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan accused the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and opposition parties of standing behind the demonstrations that broke out this week in the wake of the government’s decision to significantly cut fuel subsidies.

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FILE PHOTO - Sudanese police during demos in Omdurman (AFP)

Senior Sudanese officials including president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir have defended the measure saying the only alternative would be an economic collapse as the state budget can no longer continue offering the generous subsidies on petroleum products to its people.

Sudan’s oil boom that fueled an unprecedented economic growth and a relative prosperity over the last decade came to an end with the independence of South Sudan which housed around three quarters of the crude reserves prior to the country’s partition.

Last year the Sudanese government rolled out an austerity package that saw a scaling back of fuel and sugar subsidies as well as cutting the number of ministries. It also effectively devalued the beleaguered currency with the goal of reducing exchange rate parity with the black market.

But the economic picture remained bleak with inflation rates at double digit figures which pushed ordinary Sudanese to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for food and other basic commodities.

The Sudanese pound also continued its free fall against the US dollar reaching 8.2 in the black market this week compared to an official rate of 4.4.

The decline of the local currency and shortage of Forex meant that Sudan will pay more to import food which is vital to plug the deficiency in local food production. It also hurt businessmen and foreign companies that desperately seek to repatriate profits abroad.

This year’s round of subsidy cuts nearly doubled gasoline and diesel prices which is sure to be felt across the board and will likely create a domino effect on prices of other goods and services such as transportation tariffs which were already increased by 25% in Khartoum.

Despite staunch defense by officials, protests broke out yesterday in Sudan’s second largest town of Wad Madani which is also the capital of Gezira state.

Demonstrators set fire in government and NCP buildings amid reports that police apparently failed to control the situation and that army units were deployed. The local government convened an emergency meeting in which it decided to impose a curfew.

Yesterday the Sudanese police said that a 23-years old male was killed during the demonstrations when shots were fired at protestors from a civilian car. Its statement added that search is underway to identify the assailants.

The head of the NCP organisational sector Hamed Sideeg claimed in press statements on Tuesday that the governments has preliminary information indicating that SRF elements from other states infiltrated Wad Madani to invoke the protests.

Sideeg said that the motives behind the demonstrations were mixed which included political aspects on top the economic ones.

"It is hard to find a solution when protests are mixed with political aspect," Sideeg said.

The governor of Gezira state, Al-Zubair Bashir Taha, accused certain parties of setting fire on the government buildings and gathering in the main public transportation station, announcing that the situation was contained and 6 people were arrested.

He pointed in a statement that demonstrations erupted on Monday afternoon and protestors set fire on a gas station and stole 20 mobile phones, saying that 103 people were arrested.

Taha also announced that 37 police officers were injured and fire was set on Petronas gas station, taxation office, and traffic police building and accused protestors of attempting to wreak havoc in coordination with foreign circles, saying that they are “trying to fish in turbid waters”.

The governor, who belongs to a hard-line faction within the NCP, also accused the protestors of attacking police stations, power stations, banks, and commercial shops, claiming that the protests resembles Um Rawaba and Nyala events which were carried out by the SRF.

He echoed Sideeg assertions that Monday’s protests were previously planned in coordination with the SRF, pointing that the protestors don’t belong to Gezira state.

PROTESTS EXPAND TO OMDURMAN

The violent protests continued for the second day and spread in various parts of Khartoum’s twin capital city of Omdurman, soon turning into calls for the downfall of the regime when protesters shouted "Go… The people want to overthrow the regime”.

Several neighbourhoods of Omdurman witnessed massive demonstrations by high school students against raising ticket fees of public transportation. They were then joined by large numbers of ordinary citizens.

Khartoum university students also began to take to the streets despite the riot’s police siege around the university central campus.

The streets of Omdurman have turned into a hit-and-run arena between the protesters, police and security forces leading to several injuries among the demonstrators.

Protestors set fire in a public transportation bus, several gas stations, and the NCP building in Om Bada locality amid reports of dozens injuries.

Demonstrators managed to seize control of the main streets of Omdurman neighbourhoods and set fire on old car tires prompting the police to fire tear-gas and close several streets.

Schools, commercial shops in Omdurman markets, and public transportation were shut down as protests intensified.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that youths in Omdurman neighbourhoods held meetings all night long on Monday to coordinate the demonstrations and mobilize high school students and residents, adding “we worked up students to protest and when students of two high schools took to the street in the early hours of the morning, they were joined by citizens and workers”.

According to the same sources, protests then moved to cover main streets in Al-Thawra, Om Bada, and Al-Fitaihab neighborhoods with the police and security forces seeking to stop it but to no avail.

Hundreds of Sudanese exchanged WhatsApp messages calling for gathering at 7:00 pm on Tuesday to demonstrate against the government decisions

Activists disclosed that authorities have shut down several main streets leading to Omdurman in order to encircle the demonstrators.

Demonstrations erupted for the second day in Gezira state capital city of Wad Madani.

Eyewitnesses said that about 200 people gathered in down-town and marched towards the two major commercial markets in the city , disclosing that authorities blocked all streets leading to the University of Gezira and Wad Madani College and students hostels.

Activists claimed that the number of causalities has risen, saying that 5 children were killed. There was independent verification. They also sent messages through social media networks calling for not burning public and private properties.

There were also reports of similar protests of varying intensities In South Darfur state capital city of Nyala, Al-Managil and Wad Al-Hadad in central Sudan, Atbara in the River Nile state, and Al-Gedaref in East Sudan.

Throughout the day, security officers arrested a 100 people and authorities said that they will be prosecuted immediately.

A civil court in Omdurman already sentenced 10 people who took part into the demonstrations to receiving lashes and fined them 200 pounds according to the defence team of the protestors. Eyewitnesses said that the sentence was carried out immediately in the courtyard.

Protesters also closed a main road in Al-Thawra neighbourhood in Omdurman prompting the riot police to fire live ammunition in the air and block the surrounding streets to disperse the demonstrators.

Osman Mohamed, an engineering student at the University of Khartoum, said that police trucks besieged the university and closed all streets leading to Al-Gamhoria and Al-Gamaa boulevards.

Until Tuesday night, 30 police officers were injured in the protests in Wad Medani and Omdurman.

Nafeer, which is a youth dominated group launched to help survivals of the recent floods which swept Khartoum, announced that it will offer free meals for the protesters if they organized sit-ins in public squares to topple the regime.

A member of the group who preferred to stay anonymous said that they are ready to provide food, water, and medical care for the peaceful protesters.

The chancellor of the University of Sennar in central Sudan issued a decision closing the university indefinitely claiming that he wants to protect students’ lives.

A video posted on the internet showed dozens of armored personnel carriers on their way from Khartoum to Wad Madani. A security source said that reinforcement units were indeed sent to quell the escalating protests in the city.

Authorities deployed forces in civilian dress in the streets of Khartoum’s neighbourhoods of Jabra, Al-Daim, Al-Sahafa, Arkaweet, and Al-Hilla Al-Gadida since Monday night in anticipation of massive demonstrations.

The Sudanese authorities also banned newspapers from reporting on the protests and ordered chief editors to only publish reports issued by the police.

In Khartoum, authorities arrested dozens of the female students in Omdurman after they chanted “down, down Bashir” and “people want to bring Bashir down”.

A student said that security men in civil dress took a minibus carrying 23 students to the police station where they were harassed and forced to write pledges not to join the demonstrations.

Commercial shops in Libya Market, which is the largest market in Omdurman, closed early evening unusually, while eyewitnesses said that traffic congestion on the streets of the city made residents arrive late night on Tuesday.

Authorities arrested Nimat Malik, the member of the Communist Party’s central committee and widow of the party’s former secretary general, Abdel-Khalig Mahgoub, from her house in Omdurman.

The chairman of the opposition Sudanese Conference Party (SCP), Ibrahim Al-Shaikh, criticized the regime and accused it of starving the Sudanese people, demanding that the government refrain from using excessive force against the protesters.

He added in statement issued on Tuesday that Sudan’s future is contingent upon overthrowing the government and the NCP and returning power to the people.

(ST)

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  • 25 September 2013 10:28, by Jalaby

    Well, all the suffering that north people are facing now because our government separated the south for free without sharing the oil 50/50 with the thieves in Juba, that oil we discovered, drilled out and exported it and made it real and astonished the whole world, how we did it despite the war in the south was so fierce and ugly?

    repondre message

    • 25 September 2013 10:33, by Jalaby

      Who told you to separate the south for free while you’ve no alternative (at least for now) to that damn oil?! Thieves in Juba would have accepted it if our idiot Khartoum government made it clear to them, sharing the oil 50/50 or no referendum and no independent state!!

      repondre message

      • 25 September 2013 10:37, by Jalaby

        believe me thieves in Juba would have accepted the deal because if they continue the war then they won’t get any oil and won’t get independent state either!
        I believe Jonobean will choose 50/50 deal over continue being 2nd class citizens and always stay behind the line I guess!
        Unfortunately, Americans fooled Khartoum government, they never met what they promised them

        repondre message

        • 25 September 2013 10:45, by Jalaby

          I recommend that the protesters and angry demonstrators to go to Bashir and Ali Osman Taha houses and throw them with stones and ask them to step down now because their stupidity put us in this jeopardy situation and no single doubt about it!
          Who told them to separate the south for free without taking our oil from it?we don’t care about what Americans promised you?

          repondre message

          • 25 September 2013 12:22, by Peacocktail

            Jallaby,
            You are indeed very sorry and still preoccupied with Republic people of South Sudan state. we are have gone for your information please join the demonstration if you are not coward to downfall the Bashir regime to day and you shall be proud citizen like South Sudanese. we are happy and contain with our problem.
            Mind your problem,South Sudan a land of holy pple of virgin land.

            repondre message

            • 25 September 2013 12:28, by Peacocktail

              Jallaby,
              Your backwardness is reveal, how do you hold South Sudanese rights and assets as yours and giving precondition of 50/50 shares. share your desert 50/50 but not our land our blood has cemented the fountain of our beloved Republic of South Sudan.. no more share of resources, demonstrate and remove your government forceful or risks to dies from hunger/diseases. we welcome MTs brothers

              repondre message

          • 25 September 2013 13:57, by Kalo

            Calm Jalaba,it is too late for you to conclude,expected one of this to happen:Either SRF should marched to Khartoum to toppled down the regime of NCP or More countries will be create like Nuba Mountains,Blue Nile,Darfur and East Sudan,believe it or not,because you arabs of Sudan are cowards not like other arbas world countries,you know only how to Killed African and mistreat them,shut up!Wad Nuba

            repondre message

          • 25 September 2013 14:06, by Kalo

            Cont.Jalaba,no sharing South Sudan oil,solve your internal problem and the economic will improve,pipe lines are passing through our land of Nuba,we can destroyed them and you suffer more,100s vehicles,dozen tanks and military equipment are all over the land of Nuba seizing from the weak SAF of Sudan,also dozen of warplanes shot down lying there,i expect you to visit S.K/Nuba Mts when peace come.

            repondre message

          • 25 September 2013 18:40, by Tiger

            Jalaby.
            We all know that it’s a heartbreaking for you guys to come out from you homes and cryout toward your government,but I believe there’s nothing they can do,the South as gone for good and in the few weeks Abyei oil will also come to South and the Heglig, Panthou,believe it or not South will also restore it’s water to eliminate millions of cubic of water to your territory,haha your ass will

            repondre message

            • 25 September 2013 19:06, by Tiger

              Dry up without water to wash it before you go for prayer.haha.face it fool.

              repondre message

      • 25 September 2013 12:12, by Logic

        Loooool @ Jalaby Abo dirty Jalabia.

        repondre message

    • 25 September 2013 14:33, by australian

      Wasn’t it foreigners (Americans or Canadians) who dicovered and drilled oil in the Sudan? It costs a lot of money to do those things.

      repondre message

      • 25 September 2013 14:36, by australian

        That message was for jalaby.

        repondre message

  • 25 September 2013 22:08, by hellonearth

    Officially Jalaby you are a RETARD. its been 3 years now that South Sudan has been a state. there is an African saying that goes like this "don’t cry over spilled milk"

    repondre message

  • 25 September 2013 22:09, by hellonearth

    Officially Jalaby you are a RETARD. its been 3 years now that South Sudan has been a state. there is an African saying that goes like this "don’t cry over spilled milk"

    repondre message

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