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Sudan’s anti-austerity protests continue for fourth day

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Protesters chanting anti Bashir slogans during a demonstration in Madani triggered by a rise in the cost of bread on Friday 5 January 2017 (ST Photo)

January 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese police on Friday have fired tear gas to disperse worshipers in Khartoum and White Nile State as protests over price hikes continued for the fourth day.

Following the Friday prayer, worshippers at Al-Ansar mosque in Wad Nubawi neighbourhood of Omdurman staged a demonstration against the price hikes.

However, the police and security services stormed the mosque after throwing tear gas canisters forcing the demonstrators into the sub-streets and alleys of Wad Nabawi.

Wad Nubawi area in Omdurman, is the bastion of the Ansar religious sect of the National Umma Party (NUP) led by Former Prime Minister AL-Sadiq al-Mahdi.

Also, the police fired tear gas to disperse residents of Burri neighbourhood, in eastern Khartoum who took to streets following Friday prayer.

Meanwhile, worshippers at Al-Ansar mosque in Rabak, capital of the White Nile State have demonstrated after the Friday prayer against the rising commodity prices.

Earlier this month, bakeries raised the price of a loaf of bread from 50 cents to 1 Sudanese pound following a government decision to increase the price of flour sack from 167 pounds to 450 pounds.

The government decision was part of tough economic measures contained in the 2018 budget which also saw the lifting of electricity subsidies as well as increasing the U.S. dollar exchange rate to 18.00 pounds from the official rate of 6.7 pounds.

The rise in bread price triggered sporadic protests in several Sudanese states leading to the killing of a high school student in West Darfur State and arrest of dozens of activists.

In September 2013, over 200 people were killed according to rights groups in the spontaneous popular protests after the announcement of the first austerity plan.

(ST)

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