The leader of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has accused the opposition of being mistaken for using anti-inflation protests to call for a change of regime, Anadolu reported on Friday. Abdel Sakhi Abbas told Anadolu that the opposition criticised price rises but used the protests to support its "narrow partisan interests" leading to the "failure" of the demonstrations.
Since the start of January, Khartoum and other Sudanese cities have witnessed popular protests against price hikes and the bad economic situation. Although the protests were led by political leaders and NGO directors, "they were genuinely popular," said Abbas. "The opposition's perception that the regime has weaknesses pushed it to use the protests in this way."
That is why, he claimed, the government was obliged on occasion to deal "violently" with the protests. "However, this behaviour is not acceptable even if the opposition was the reason for it." Abbas called for the government to cancel the latest economic measures as "they did not lead to the needed results."
The Sudanese government included a number of austerity measures in its 2018 budget, including a price rise for basic commodities.
Sudan has been suffering from a lack of foreign currency since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, as it also lost about 80 per cent of its oil revenues.
According to Abbas, the government planned for reforms through these economic measures. "This is a good idea," he pointed out, "but the problem lay with the people who laid down this economic policy who did not adopt gradual change."