Hundreds of protesters have rioted all across Sudan, on Wednesday, 19th of December, to express their anger after the announcement of an increase in bread and fuel prices.
The uprising has started in Atbara, where eight were killed during a clash with the Sudanese Police, including a university student: Moayed Ahmad Mahmoud. Witnesses say there have been many wounded people as well. Opposition figures claim that 22 people were killed since Wednesday, but officials say the numbers are much lower.
The protests continued on spreading to the capital, Al-Khartoum, near the presidential palace. The police threw gas bombs to disperse the protesters right after a curfew has been announced, because of a number of demonstrators have set fire to the headquarters of President Omar Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP).
According to The New York Times, 14 leaders of the National Consensus Forces, an opposition alliance, have been arrested. The government has shut down internet services, social media, universities, and schools in order to prevent more people from joining the protests.
On the other hand, some witnesses claimed that in some areas, military forces did not intervene and were even siding with the protests. While a statement on Sunday by the military pledged loyalty to the president and said it would safeguard the nation’s security under all circumstances. Moreover, a presidential adviser, Faisal Hassan Ibrahim, said that the protests were led by “organized entities” and he did not give any further details.
Sudan has a long history with street protests, two of which brought the government down. The country saw protests over fuel and bread prices earlier this year, but they were immediately contained by the police forces.
Keeping in thought that the country’s economy has been in danger ever since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil resources. Hafiz Mohamed Ismail, an activist with Justice Africa, a non-governmental organization, has said that the structure of the economy is so corrupt that the government has no idea how to run it.
“The regime has hit a wall,” he added, “and they are panicking.”