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Sudan: 7 states declare state of emergency following mass protests outbreak 

February 11, 2021 at 9:03 pm

Protesters block roads and burn tyres during a protest against economic crisis and high cost of living in Khartoum, Sudan on 21 October 2020 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

Seven Sudanese states on Thursday declared a state of emergency following the recent demonstrations that took place in several regions to denounce the deteriorating living conditions, high prices and the scarcity of basic commodities. This comes at a time when the Dismantling of June 30 Regime Committee called for the prosecution of members of the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) on charges of taking part in the events.

The Sudanese states that declared the state of emergency are South Darfur, West Darfur, North Darfur and East Darfur (Western Sudan), North Kordofan, West Kordofan and Sennar State.

Regarding the recent protests, the Sudanese interior minister confirmed that matters are now under control, adding that a joint ministerial committee will conduct field visits to the states, commissioned by the Council of Ministers.

The protests were accompanied by acts of stealing and violence, as footage showed protesters in more than one state looting shops.

The riots led to burning government offices, including the secretariat of West Kordofan State in Al-Fula, the headquarters of the state radio and television and government headquarters in El Daein, the capital of East Darfur.

READ: Sudan imposes curfew in 3 states to contain protests

While it was not clear who was leading the unrest, the protests erupted in at least ten Sudanese cities. Some described it as the “revolution of the hungry”, while others believe that the recent events are mere “acts of vandalism” orchestrated by members of the dissolved NCP.

There have been numerous demonstrations in the past few months condemning the deteriorating economic conditions, as some protesters demanded the departure of Abdalla Hamdok’s government, while others called for correcting the course of the revolution.

National Congress Party

Meanwhile, the Dismantling of June 30 Regime Committee has directed the heads of its branches in the Sudanese states to initiate criminal procedures against all members of the dissolved NCP, accusing the former regime of orchestrating the acts of vandalism and spreading chaos during the recent protests.

The committee asserted in a statement that it had sufficient information about the activities of former ruling party members and: “How they committed arson acts, plundered properties and terrorised unarmed citizens, which contradicts the protest pattern that the revolution forces have been organising.”

Sources from the NCP disclosed that the authorities had prepared a list of party leaders’ names in preparation for their arrests.

An Al-Jazeera reporter revealed a widespread conviction that the NCP members are behind the protests that have recently erupted.

The Sudanese authorities have arrested former Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdalrahman, as a source from Abdalrahman’s family told Al-Jazeera that the police stormed his home without stating the reason for the arrest.

Abdalrahman was arrested shortly after President Omar Al-Bashir’s departure in April 2019, but was later released without charges.