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World

Protests erupt in Sudan over cost of living

  • The demonstrations were sparked by sharp increases in the costs of main ingredients for making bread, it said.
09 Feb 2021

KHARTOUM: Protests broke out Tuesday in a key port city, the restive Darfur region and other parts of Sudan over the rising cost of living, witnesses and state media said.

A new government team including rebel leaders has been tasked with fixing an economy decimated by decades of US sanctions, mismanagement and civil war under now-ousted president Omar al-Bashir.

It also faces galloping inflation, chronic hard currency shortages and a flourishing black market.

Demonstrators in Nyala, capital of South Darfur state, hurled stones at police and set several shops on fire in the main market, an AFP correspondent said.

"No to high prices, no to hunger," protesters chanted, as police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

In the Red sea city of Port Sudan, student protests broke out prompting the suspension of schools and closure of several shops, SUNA state news agency said.

The demonstrations were sparked by sharp increases in the costs of main ingredients for making bread, it said.

Protesters hurled stones at the municipality building and set tyres on fire on main streets.

Similar demonstrations were held in other regions, including North Kordofan state.

Online footage, whose authenticity could not be immediately confirmed, showed demonstrators in Al-Obeid, the state capital, lugging wheat bags apparently looted from bakeries.

On Monday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok named a new team that includes rebel leader and economist Gibril Ibrahim as finance minister.

"We promise not to sleep until we end bread and fuel queues, and to make live-saving medications available at reasonable prices," Ibrahim wrote on Twitter.

Protests over economic hardships have also been staged in recent weeks in the capital Khartoum and the eastern state of Gedaref, considered Sudan's breadbasket.

Cases of looting and robberies were reported in Gedaref.

Sudan has been undergoing a rocky transition since the April 2019 ouster of Bashir following mass protests against his rule, triggered by economic hardship.

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