October 26, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese 2nd Vice president al-Haj Adam Youssef dismissed protests which erupted last month and accused demonstrators of being "ingrates" to what the government has done to them since coming to power in 1989.
- Sudanese vice-president al-Haj Adam Youssef speaks during an interview in Khartoum on 5 December 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Addressing the inauguration of gold exploration project by Sahara company in Nahr al-Neel state, Youssef said that Ingaz [nickname to the 1989 coup] constructed roads and bridges, extracted gold and oil in sharp contrast to pre-1989 years.
He mocked people who took to the streets because electricity went out for three hours when they used to go without power for three months.
"There are those who haven’t seen electricity since three centuries ago," the Sudanese VP said adding that people tend to be "forgetful".
He rejected accusations that the Ingaz destroyed Sudan asking "what exactly is destruction [ they are referring to]?".
Youssef said that the gold exploration project he is witnessing is a good example of "productive youths" urging those who complain about unemployment to go out to production sites and urged media to encourage that line of thinking rather than inhibit it.
He also called for upping electricity conservation efforts saying that the government has no desire to subsidize its irresponsible use.
"The electricity we have is for agricultural and productive projects," Youssef said.
The government’s decision last month to cut fuel subsidies triggered protests across the country which killed around 70 people according to authorities and 200 based on activists’ count.
Sudanese officials defended the measure saying that without it, an economic collapse would ensue adding that most of the subsidies went into the pockets of the wealthy rather than the poor.
In another issue, the Sudanese VP dismissed voices calling for normalizing ties with the United States saying that those who do that belong to the fifth column.
Youssef noted that it was the US which began hostility by imposing sanctions adding that if they pursued normalization under the US terms, Sudan would have been at the "Kentucky Fried Chicken stage".