Thousands protest corruption in northeast Sudan


Thousands protest corruption in northeast Sudan

Thousands of protesters in Atbara city in northeastern Sudan rallied against rising food prices and corruption on Thursday.

They were chanting anti-government slogans and setting fire to car tires as police tried to disperse them with tear gas.

Economic conditions in Sudan have deteriorated sharply in recent months.

A decision to reduce bread subsidies earlier this year sparked rare nationwide protests after prices doubled.

Inflation now stands at 69 percent and severe shortages of fuel and bread have forced people in the capital and other cities to queue at bakeries and petrol stations.

At a demonstration in Atbara attended by hundreds on Wednesday, protesters set fire to the local headquarters of the ruling party, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and a curfew.

“I went out to protest because life has stopped in Atbara,” a 36-year-old man, who had participated in Wednesday’s demonstration and asked not to be named, told Reuters on Thursday.

He said he had not been able to buy bread for four days because it was no longer available in the shops.

“Prices have increased and I have still not been able to withdraw my November salary … because of the liquidity crisis. These are difficult conditions that we can’t live with, and the government doesn’t care about us.”

Smaller protests were also held in the cities of Dongola, Sennar and al-Qadarif on Thursday, residents said. In Dongola, protesters set fire to the local headquarters of the ruling party, and at a local market shop owners closed their stores.

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