Protests continue in Sudan amid ‘unprecedented price hikes’
On Monday, protests erupted in Khartoum, Omdurman and El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, over persistent shortages of bread and fuel. Food prices have doubled again. In Suakin, Red Sea state, people boarded up roads on Sunday to protest the water crisis.
Markets in Khartoum and other parts of the country are experiencing unprecedented increases in commodity prices.
“Prices have doubled, or even tripled in some cases,” complained a protester to Radio Dabanga in Omdurman. “Many families who already ate only one meal a day don’t really know how to survive.”
In Khartoum state, some 2,000 bakeries have closed due to the flour crisis. Brawls broke out among people who lined up for hours in front of the few bakeries that are still functioning.
At 40 Street, a main transit route in Omdurman, protests against the bread crisis sparked clashes between police and protesters. The police fired tear gas intensively to disperse the crowd who called for the fall of the current government of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. A number of protesters blocked the road.
Similar protests against deteriorating living conditions took place in El Soug El Arabi, in central Khartoum.
Protesters in El Shagla, El Salha and El Fitihab districts of Omdurman yesterday blocked a number of main roads in protest against drinking water outages that began 10 days ago, in addition persistent shortages of bread and fuel.
The city has also witnessed sporadic protests at bus stops and train stations, as transport dwindles due to the fuel crisis.
Petrol stations in Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum Bahri (North) witnessed long lines of vehicles waiting for fuel for days.
The head of the Khartoum State Chamber of Transport holds the energy ministry responsible for the fuel crisis. He estimated the percentage of the gasoline and diesel deficit at around 70 percent, and pointed to the resulting fare increases and reductions in bus lines.
No more subsidized bread
The inhabitants of El Obeid, in the state of North Kordofan, have suffered from a serious bread crisis since yesterday.
Ali Ibrahim, a leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change in North Kordofan, told Radio Dabanga that the town had witnessed “a total lack of subsidized bread, as the price of a bun rose. the market amounted to ODD6 * ”.
Daily bread costs for an average family are 300 SDG, he said. “Many families are no longer able to bear the costs.”
In Suakin, near Port Sudan, in Red Sea State, people blocked the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway on Sunday to protest the city’s lack of potable water.
The commercial price of a bucket of drinking water which rose last week from SDG50 to SDG120, increased over the weekend to SDG150. “More and more people are now using salt water, which is cheaper,” journalist Mohamed Osheik told Radio Dabanga.
Employees working for the Auditor General across the country went on strike on Monday. Team leaders and auditors came from states to Khartoum to highlight their demands regarding the implementation of their salary structure and the modification of the Constitutional Document regarding the appointment of the Auditor General.
The appointment of the Auditor General by the Council of Ministers is expected to obtain the approval of two-thirds of the members of the legislature and of the members of the Sovereign Council, in order to comply with the 2015 law on the Office of the Auditor General.
Auditors wonder why the Auditor General and his deputies are allowed to keep their posts despite the passage of more than a year since the formation of the civilian government, and the creation of the Empowerment Committee * for the elimination, the fight against corruption and the collection of funds by the new government at the end of last year, with the aim of purging Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime.
* As effective exchange rates may vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the Average daily rate of the US dollar quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS). $ 1 = ODD 55 at the time of this article’s publication. In Khartoum’s parallel market, the greenback sells for around 250 SDG (a record high of SDG260 was reported on September 10).
** Accountability (tamkin) This is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir has supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them long-standing privileges, including government office and the establishment of various businesses.
Radio Dabanga’s editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates on political developments to Sudanese and international actors, educate people on how to avoid infectious disease outbreaks, and provide a window on the world to those across Sudan. Support Radio Dabanga for as little as € 2.50, the equivalent of a cup of coffee.