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Anti-Austerity Protests: Sudan’s interior ministry ready for worst scenarios

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November 7, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Minister of Interior General Ismat Abdel Rahman Zein al-Abdin on Monday said his ministry is ready for the worst scenarios after various protests against the government austerity measures.

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Interior minister Ismat Abdel-Rahman (SUNA Photo)

Sudanese government on Thursday lifted fuel subsidies and increased electricity price in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and control the fall of Sudanese pound in the black market. The step created limited protests in various places across Sudan.

In a press statement, the Minister of Interior pointed that police is not sure how the protests might develop, adding that the situation now is stable.

“We would not raise the state of alert to 100% until we see how things are going to develop,” he said.

Zein al-Abdin said that police received information that some people are planning activities that he did not disclose; underlining that police cannot raise the state of alert from this early stage.

“This time the situation is different from September 2013,” he stressed.

In September 2013 following the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies, demonstrations broke out in several Sudanese states. Rights groups said that at least 200 people were killed but the government put the death toll at 85.

At the time, Police failure to stop the protests, led to the intervention of the security apparatus and the use of bullets against protesters.

The minister of interior went to say that people understand the motives behind government’s decision to lift fuel and electricity subsidies, adding that government has also increased salaries.

On Monday small-scale protests continued for the second day in several towns across Sudan, including the capital Khartoum, Atbara, Wad Madani and Nyala. Opposition groups called to keep the protests.

(ST)

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