One dead as Sudanese protests spread to capital Khartoum

KHARTOUM: A university student was killed in protests in the Sudanese city of Al Qadarif on Thursday, a member of parliament said.
“The situation in Al Qadarif has become dangerous and the protests have developed to include fires and theft and it’s now out of control,” said lawmaker Mubarak al Nur.
Protests that started in the city of Atbara in northeastern Sudan on Wednesday spread to Al Qadarif as well as the capital Khartoum and other cities on Thursday. Sudan over high prices and a liquidity crunch spread to the capital Khartoum on Thursday, a Reuters witness said.
Around 150 protesters shut down a main street in Khartoum and chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime.”
Police in riot gear broke up the protests.
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 per cent 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, said 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.
In Atbara, historically a centre of anti-government protests, protesters who used scarfs to cover their faces chanted “freedom” and set car tyres alight.
“Protesters are walking in most of the city’s streets,” a Reuters witness in Atbara said.
“They are chanting against corruption and expensive prices and asking for freedom, peace and justice.”
— Reuters