8 February 2018

Sudan: Students Protest in North Kordofan, Khartoum March Foiled By Security

El Obeid / Khartoum — El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, witnessed a peaceful demonstration yesterday carried out by university students against the rise of prices. A peaceful march scheduled in Khartoum was suppressed by a heavy security presence.

Activists in El Obeid told Radio Dabanga that security forces used force to disperse the demonstration and arrested a number of students including Mohamed El Mujtaba and Yahya El Fahal of the Faculty of Engineering and Mohamed Nasreldin and a student named Abdelrahman from the faculty of Medicine.

Khartoum

A massive deployment of police and security services at the entrances leading to El Jereif East in Khartoum prevented the public from reaching the gathering square for a peaceful march of salvation scheduled for yesterday.

This situation led the sponsoring committees to change the plan and transfer to Gamar market in the centre of El Gereif, but the security deployment accompanied by severe beatings, excessive force, and arrests suppressed the march after a few steps.

The alliance of Future Forces for Change, led by Dr Ghazi Salaheldin Atabani, held President Omar Al Bashir responsible for the economic and political failures the country is currently undergoing.

Arrests

Yesterday the alliance condemned in a statement the campaign of arrests of some political leaders, residents, students and journalists during the demonstrations in rejection of rise of prices.

The statement said that the protesters have expressed their views within the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the outputs of the national dialogue and all the international laws on freedoms and human rights.

The statement condemned the use of excessive force in dispersing unarmed civilians and detaining them without legal procedures in unknown places.

It demanded their immediate release or submission to urgent and public trials.

Price hikes

In early January this year, the Sudanese government raised the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18, in a bid to halt the plummeting of the Pound at the black market. To no avail though, as the Dollar rate increased from SDG 28 to SDG 34.50 in the following two weeks.

Inflation

On January 21, the Central Bank set the indicative exchange rate of the Dollar on SDG 18. Two weeks later, the greenback hit SDG 42 on the black forex market in Khartoum.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Sudan raised the indicative exchange rate of the US Dollar from SDG 18 to SDG 30.

The rising prices and runaway inflation prompted mass public protests across the country in January. The protests were faced by violence and detentions by the Sudanese authorities.

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