First person killed in demonstrations sweeping Sudan, protesting outrageous price hikes in basic food commodities
Eric Reeves | January 8, 2018 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2bv
The first person—a high school student—has been killed in the demonstrations that are now sweeping across Sudan, protesting outrageous price hikes in basic food commodities. Others injured have been injured, including by the indiscriminate use of large volumes of tear gas. As Radio Dabanga and Sudan Tribune report, new parts of the country are protesting the inevitable results of catastrophic economic policies, and decades of kleptocracy, by an utterly ruthless and self-enriching regime:
• Darfuri student killed in Sudan protests against price hikes | Radio Dabanga | January 8, 2018 | EL GENEINA / NYALA / ED DAMAZIN / KHARTOUM
On Sunday, the third day of demonstrations against the 300%price increases that hit the country last week, a student was killed in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina. Other parts of the country witnessed protests as well. When demonstrators in El Geneina set fire to the local headquarters of the ruling National Congress Party in the city, government forces opened fire on the crowd.
Secondary school student El Zubeir Ibrahim Sikiran was killed instantly. Eight others were wounded. Dozens were detained…
Sudan imports many food items and most of the medicines needed. In 2015, Sudan imported more than two million tons of wheat at a cost of $1.5 billion.
[This vast expenditure on food that should be grown in Sudan is the ultimate cause of the Forex shortage—ER]
The recurrent flour crises during the past few years have been attributed to the scarcity of foreign currency. In a bid to fight the steadily increasing hard currency rate at the black market, the government in end December decided to raise the customs rate of the Dollar from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18. After this measure came into effect on Tuesday, the prices of the main consumer goods doubled or even tripled.
[Prices appear poised to rise further, as inflation begins to feed on itself in a highly inflationary environment—ER]
Rapid Support Forces
On Sunday morning, secondary school students demonstrated also in Nyala, capital of South Darfur. They chanted slogans against the doubling of the bread price. Others blocked the main three streets in the city with burning tyres for several hours. The South Darfur authorities deployed large numbers of militiamen belonging to the Rapid Support Forces in the centre of the capital to support the state police.
In Ed Damazin, people took to the streets on Saturday morning. The security forces used tear gas and excessive force to break up the demonstrations that moved from various neighbourhoods of the Blue Nile State capital to the city market. A student reported to this station that two houses in El Zuhour district burned down during the violence. Dozens of demonstrators, among them a number of students of the Blue Nile University, were held, and have been taken to an unknown destination. On Friday and Saturday, Khartoum, Atbara, and Sennar witnessed small protests in a number of neighbourhoods as well.
A demonstration of students of the University of Khartoum on Sunday afternoon was immediately halted by police forces who closed the nearby streets, and used tear gas to disperse the protesters. Students told this station that many of them suffered from breathing problems because of the excessive use of tear gas. An unknown number of students were wounded. Dozens were detained.
On Sunday, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Babikir Digna, told the press in Khartoum that his Ministry “will not hesitate to crack down on any subversive demonstration against the price hikes.” “We will suppress any sabotage attempts,” he stressed…
• Student killed in protests over price rising in West Darfur | Sudan Tribune | January 7, 2018 (EL-GENEINA)
A student was killed and others wounded Sunday in a wave of mass protests that swept through West Darfur State capital, El-Geneina over commodity price hikes. An official at West Darfur government told Sudan Tribune under the condition of anonymity that hundreds of students took to the streets of El-Geneina… “The police and the Rapid Support Forces intervened to disperse the demonstration. There were casualties among the protesters. A high school student named Al-Zubayr Ibrahim Sekeran was killed and the authorities would investigate the incident.”
In the same context, the minister of education in West Darfur State Bashir Adam Idris issued a decision to suspend primary and high schools study for one week.