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Sudan: President pledges economic reforms amid protests

December 25, 2018 at 5:51 am

Sudan’s president on Monday pledged to carry out economic reforms, amid street protests over price hikes and a shortage of basic commodities.

The state-run SUNA news agency reported that Omar al-Bashir “has affirmed the state will continue to carry out economic reforms to ensure a decent living for the citizens.”

He met officials of the Security and Intelligence Service and praised their efforts in supporting the flow of services of the government, as well as ensuring people’s safety.

“President Al-Bashir has called on the citizens to give no account to the promoters of rumours and to be cautious over the attempts to plant frustration, promising with real measures to restore the citizens’ confidence on the banking system,” SUNA reported.

Several Sudanese states have been rocked by protests since last Wednesday against price hikes, inflation and a double in the cost of bread.

While official estimates put the death toll from the protests at eight, opposition groups say that at least 22 people have been killed in the unrest.

On Sunday, protests broke out in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, and the North and South Kordofan states.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas to disperse fans who marched down the center of Khartoum following a football game amid chants against President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989.

Sudanese authorities have announced a state of emergency and curfew in a number of provinces over the protests, with government officials accusing Israel of plotting with rebel groups to cause violence in the country.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three-quarters of its oil output – its main source of foreign currency – when South Sudan seceded in 2011.