August 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A massive protest over price rises erupted Monday in Rahid Al-Barad locality of South Darfur State, where demonstrators burned several government buildings in the latest expression of discontent against economic conditions in Sudan.
- File Photo - Sudanese students shout slogans during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalinge
Sudan Tribune has learned that the protest was ignited by the state government’s decision to hike electricity charge rates. Eye witnesses said that hundreds of demonstrators including school children took to the streets and burned the main electricity station, the local Zakat Authority and the headquarters of the Warehouses Authority where, they added, large quantities of stored food were destroyed.
This is the second protest large protest to take place in South Darfur recently. Last week in Nyala, the provincial capital, at least eight were killed by police forces during demonstrations sparked by rises in public transportation fares.
Commenting on the events of Rahid Al-Barad, the chief of the state police, Taha Galal Al-Din, said that their forces had managed to disperse the protesters and that the situation was under control. He added that there are no causalities among the protesters.
The witnesses said that the protesters had tried to storm the headquarters of a local bank but the police dispersed them using teargas.
Sudan has witnessed several protests since the government moved in mid-June to end fuel subsidies as part of wider austerity measures aiming to cover a budget gap of 2.4 billion US dollars resulting mainly from the secession of South Sudan.
The country’s western region of Darfur is also the scene of a low-intensity conflict between the government and rebel groups accusing it of marginalizing the region.