Anti-government Protests in Sudan intensify, with no end in sight

The situation in Sudan is taking a turn for worse, as the protests by a coalition of unions continue. The protests commenced on Wednesday, when doctors and other hospital workers prepared to strike over the rising prices of bread and fuel.

The agitation followed the government hiked price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three (about $0.02 to $0.06), where the demonstrators are calling for the President Omar Hassan al-Bashir — in power for three decades — to step down. Besides, the coalition of unions is urging the Sudanese to keep up their street protests.

On the fifth day of the protests, nearly 600 people gathered in the market of Um Rawaba, 200 km southwest of the capital Khartoum, chanting “the people want the fall of the regime.”

Witnesses informed that the protesters burned tyres and branches in the streets. Besides, they also attempted to attack a government building, but were turned back by security officials.

According to the reports, in these five consecutive days of protests — resultant of grievances over price rises, shortage of basic commodities and a cash crisis — around 8 to 22 people have been killed.

Al Jazeera reported that “fuel and bread shortages may have triggered protests across the country, but other factors now seem to be helping to keep them going.”

It said that Sudanese “seem to be frustrated,” and the economic crisis are not solely responsible. People have also raised concerns about the manner in which the leader is running the country, and that they want to see a change.

Reports reveal that demonstrators in different parts of Sudan have also burned tires and blocked roads.

Witnessed in Atabara, 300 km northeast of the capital, reported that the riot police and plain-clothed operatives opened tear gas against hundreds of protesters.

On Sunday, hundreds of protestors in Khartoum blocked a road, when the police fired tear gas on them. Earlier that day, a nation-wide government suspension and riot police equipped with batons and tear gas guarded buildings, shuttered the schools and universities in the city.

The government officials are blaming demonstrations on what they call saboteurs and infiltrators.

A state-run news agency sent out a tweet, saying that the Sudanese military “stands behind its leadership” and will safeguard the security and safety as well as the honor of the country.

The fury of Sudanese against the President seems to be escalating to a whole new level. Bashir has shown little tolerance for the opposition in the past, but this time the dissent is much more. It’s already five days since the protests have occurred and have led to deaths in the city, and it is still uncertain how the situation will unfold.

Will President Bashir step down for real, or the people will come back empty handed despite demonstrations and killings?

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