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Scattered protests erupt in Sudan over economic woes

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December 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese riot police on Sunday used tear gas and batons to disperse protests against price hikes and deteriorating living conditions at several parts of the country.

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Sudanese anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, in September 2013 (Photo: Khalil Hamra/AP)

High school students have demonstrated in El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur State and Damzain, capital of the Blue Nile State.

In El-Fasher, eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that residents have burnt tires and blocked major roads in protest against lack of bread roads.

Also, according to Darfur 24 website, residents of Al-Thawras and Al-Radeef neighbourhoods, as well as high school students, took to the streets to protests against the deteriorating living conditions.

It is noteworthy that sporadic protests on Friday and Saturday have erupted at several areas in the capital, Khartoum were protesters burnt tires and chanted slogans denouncing the high cost of living.

To quell anti-austerity protests in Khartoum, Sudanese security forces in September 2013 carried out a brutal crackdown on the peaceful demonstration, killing nearly two hundred protesters say human rights groups or 86 people according to government figures.

Economic conditions in Sudan have been challenging since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the bulk of oil production and exports.

The withdrawal of South Sudan oil has compounded the difficult external environment, including debt arrears, limited access to external financing, U.S. sanctions, and the withdrawal of correspondent bank relations.

Earlier this year, Sudan began a series of economic reforms in line with IMF recommendations to try to bolster the economy, months after a U.S. decision to lift sanctions raised hopes that badly needed investment may return.

The reform policies included austerity measures containing removal of subsidies as the country struggles in the face of inflation running at 68% and acute shortage of hard currency that has sapped import activity.

(ST)

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