Sudanese rally against military rule and economic crisis

4. Sudan
Sudanese protesters take part in ongoing demonstrations calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on March 14, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
KHARTOUM — Sudanese security forces opened fire Monday as protesters in several cities across the northeast African nation marched against military rule and a worsening economic situation, witnesses told AFP.اضافة اعلان

Costs of bread and transport have soared in recent days, and protesters marched to demand a return to civilian rule and protest the rising cost of living.

Regular protests calling for civilian rule have taken place since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on October 25, with heavy-handed crackdowns leaving 87 dead, according to medics.

“Down with military rule”, protesters chanted in Damazin, a city some 450km southeast of the capital Khartoum.

Security forces opened fire to disperse protesters, witness Mohamed Abdel Qader said.

On Sunday, the price of bread shot up over 40 percent, from 35 to 50 Sudanese pounds, or from five to eight US cents.

Sudan has been especially vulnerable to fears of global supply shortages in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As costs of fuel spike, the cost of transport has also jumped 50 percent across Sudan.

In Nyala, state capital of South Darfur in the west, security forces fired a barrage of tear gas canisters to stop crowds.

“No to rising costs,” people shouted, according to resident Abdel Moneim Mohamed. “No to military rule.”


Protesters in Nyala also included residents of the vast camps set up when people were forced from their homes during the conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003.

“The situation has become intolerable,” said Hamad Bashir from Atbara, a city 280km northeast of Khartoum, a traditional center of the country’s railway industry.

Bashir said that railway workers have not been paid for two months.

Rail workers began a strike on Sunday, said Hasham Khedr, the head of the Railway Workers’ Union.

Food insecurity is a major issue in the impoverished country, where one in every three people are dependent on aid, according to the United Nations.

The situation was exacerbated when October’s military coup triggered broad international condemnation and punitive measures that included a suspension of $700 million in US aid.

In Khartoum, local “resistance committees” have called for protests to demand a return to civilian rule and the release of detainees.

Authorities have rounded up hundreds of pro-democracy protesters since the coup, many of whom have been released in recent weeks.

On Monday, three protesters were detained in Nyala, activists said.

The October coup derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.

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