Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Student killed in Sudan bread price protests

A bread shortage has hit Sudan's cities for the past three weeks, as commodity prices rise

A fire in the street during protests against price increases in Atbara, Nile River state in Sudan, December 20, 2018. Reuters
A fire in the street during protests against price increases in Atbara, Nile River state in Sudan, December 20, 2018. Reuters

A student demonstrator was killed Thursday in eastern Sudan, a local official and relatives told AFP, amid mounting protests over the rising price of bread.

"The situation in Al Qadarif is out of control and the student Moayed Ahmad Mahmoud was killed," said Mubarak A Nur, a lawmaker in the city 550 kilometres from the capital Khartoum.

Mahmoud was a university student, he said.

Mr Al Nur called on authorities "not to use force against demonstrators, who are asked to peacefully exercise their right" to protest.

A government decision to raise the price of bread this week from one Sudanese pound to three (from about 7 fils to 23) sparked protests across the country on Wednesday.

Angry protesters on Thursday set fire to the headquarters of President Omar Al Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP) in two locations, witnesses said.

Demonstrators in Al Qadarif "threw stones at banks [in the city centre] and smashed cars," resident Tayeb Omar Bashir told AFP by phone.

They then "moved to the ruling party headquarters near the market it torched it completely", he added.

Demonstrators then moved towards the police station where they called for "freedom" and chanted "the people want the fall of the regime".

Protests in Dongola, 500 kilometres north of Khartoum, "started with university students who were joined by others when they reached the city centre", an eyewitness told AFP by phone.

"They attacked the headquarters of the NCP and set it ablaze," the witness said.

In the city of Atbara, around 400 kilometres east of Khartoum, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters just hours after authorities imposed a curfew on the city because demonstrators had torched its NCP headquarters.

"Some 1,500 demonstrators tried to enter the city of Atbara from [a suburb] calling for the fall of the regime," an eyewitness said.

"Riot police intercepted them and fired tear gas at them," the witness added.

_______________

Read more:

Sudan declares state of emergency amid protests

Arab and African states discuss forming a Red Sea security council

Exclusive: Sudan looks to become an oil exporter by 2023

________________

The bread shortage has hit Sudan's cities for the past three weeks, including the capital.

In the past year, the cost of some commodities has more than doubled in Sudan, where inflation is running at close to 70 per cent and the pound has plunged in value.

Sporadic protests broke out in January this year over the rising cost of food, but they were soon brought under control with the arrest of opposition leaders and activists.

Sudan had significant oil reserves until South Sudan gained independence in 2011, and the north-south split saw the country lose three quarters of its reserves.

Updated: December 26, 2018 02:37 PM

SHARE

SHARE