21 December 2018

Sudan: Two Students Killed in More Price Hike Protests in Sudan States

Photo: Radio Dabanga
A crowd protests the skyrocketed bread and fuel prices, among others, in El Gezira Aba in White Nile state, on December 21.

Atbara / Khartoum / El Obeid / Rabak — Another two people were killed when security services dispersed a crowd of protesters in Atbara in River Nile today. After Friday prayers, protests against the price rises in Sudan continued in Khartoum, Atbara and El Obeid.

A demonstration in Atbara, where a state of emergency in the authorities' attempt to stop the unrest has been declared since Wednesday, led to the killing of the two students Tariq Ali and Mohamed Ahmed Abdeljalil. Tariq studied at River Nile University.

Tariq's funeral sparked an agry crowd to shout slogans and continue protesting on Friday night (video).

Several people were wounded when the Sudanese security apparatus (NISS) dispersed the crowd by use of force. Maryam Mohamed Abdallah was one of the injured, witnesses reported to Radio Dabanga.

The market has been closed for the third consecutive day and schools are still closed because of the state of emergency. A number of protesters have been arrested.

A total of three people have been killed in River Nile state this week at the hands of the security forces. Six protesters died during clashes with riot police in El Gedaref. At least two students were killed in Kareema, according to the latest confirmed numbers.

New protests

On Friday the protests continued in Khartoum and El Obeid, while Rabak and El Jezira Aba in White Nile state witnessed the first protests that sparked over the economic hardship for Sudanese people.

In Rabak, angry demonstrators burned the local office of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the office of El Zakat Chamber. In response authorities have shut down all the schools and universities for an indefinite period.

In El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, a demonstration started after the Friday prayers and has continued until Friday night, taking place in various neighbourhoods. The NISS has used force and tear gas to disperse them, and arrested an unknown number of youth and students.

Khartoum

According to witnesses, including journalists, a large demonstration happened today in El Haj Yousuf, and another one took place in Omdurman's Wad Nuba, right after the Friday prayers. The crowds blocked the streets to the centre of Omdurman.

Public anger in Sudan has been building up over price rises and other economic hardships, including expensive bread, fuel and medicines, as well as limits on cash withdrawals over a liquidity crisis.

Already in January this year, the Sudanese government's decision to devaluate the local currency and rising bread prices sparked ongoing 'bread price protests' across the country, which have resulted in police killing at least one protester and arresting hundreds of activists and journalists.

The demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday were among the biggest and wide-spread in Sudan since people demonstrated against the cuts to state subsidies in 2013. NISS and armed men allied to them also used live ammunition, tear gas, and batons. As many as 185 protesters and other civilians were killed, most of them shot in the head or chest, ACJPS and AI found in a joint study published in September 2014. Hundreds were injured and more than 800 others arrested, some held for weeks.

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