The ongoing protest in Sudan over the country’s economic crisis has resulted in clashes between protesters and the Police.
Hundreds of these protesters demanding the exit of President Omar al-Bashir blocked a road close to a football stadium in the capital, Khartoum.
There were chants of slogans demanding that President Bashir steps down. The agitations erupted after a football match in Khartoum suburb of Omdurman.
Police reportedly used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the fans after the match. These protesters were encouraged to agitate by some retired footballers like Haytham Mustafa and Faisal al-Agab.
Both called on fans to protest President Bashir’s regime and demand for change.
More deaths have been recorded from the ongoing agitations over the rising cost of bread. The opposition has claimed that 22 people have died from days of protests.
Economic crisis turning political
The protests are over an excruciating economic hardship and prices of bread.
Bread prices in the North Africa country are said to be astronomically higher due to economic challenges.
The protests were triggered after bread prices increased from one Sudanese pound ($0.02) to three Sudanese pounds ($0.063).
Bread prices have more than tripled since the start of this year. This was after the government decided to stop importing wheat from overseas.
Officials had hoped the move would create competition between private companies importing wheat, and therefore act as a check on price rises – but a number of bakeries have since stopped production, citing a lack of flour.
This forced the government to increase flour subsidies by 40 per cent in November.
In October, Sudan sharply devalued its currency from 29 pounds to the dollar to 47.5 after a body of banks and money changers set the country’s exchange rate.
Public anger in Sudan continues to grow as police respond to protests with live ammunition and tear gas. pic.twitter.com/oaxDiEzd5u
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 23, 2018
The move led to further price increases and a liquidity crunch, while the gap between the official and black market rates has continued to widen.
End of Bashir’s era?
President Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup, overthrew an elected government.
He is a career soldier and had support from Islamists during the 1989 military coup.
Bashir recently received the backing of the country’s military that assured him of their support.
#Sudan: this is Shawqi al-Sadig, a 12 year old boy from #Rabak in the state of #WhiteNile. Last Friday Shawqi participated in a anti-regime protest when a sniper shot him through the head and killed him.
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) December 23, 2018
He is still wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity and genocide in the western Darfur region.
It is not clear how sustained these agitations for his exit will be following moves by the parliament to prolong his reign.