Protest in Sudan against rising bread prices

A Sudanese man works at a bakery in the capital Khartoum on Jan. 5, 2018. Police fired tear gas on Saturday at groups of students protesting in a central Sudanese town against soaring bread prices, according to witnesses.(AFP)
Updated 06 January 2018
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Protest in Sudan against rising bread prices

KHARTOUM: Police fired tear gas on Saturday at groups of students protesting in a central Sudanese town against soaring bread prices, witnesses said, as opposition parties called for anti-government demonstrations.
Bread prices almost doubled on Friday across Sudan after flour manufacturers raised prices amid dwindling supply of wheat following a government decision to stop importing the grain and allow private companies to do so.
“Citizens, demand your rights,” shouted university students in the central Sudanese town of Sennar as dozens of residents joined them in a sporadic march against the rise in bread prices, witnesses said.
Police fired tear gas to break the protest while shopkeepers closed their shops in the town’s main market, witnesses and residents from Sennar told AFP by telephone.
“The police fired tear gas at protesters. I had to close my shop as demonstrators approached the market,” a shopkeeper said on condition of anonymity.
Pictures and videos of protesters chanting anti-government slogans and burning tires in the streets were uploaded on several social media websites.
Flour manufacturers have raised the price of a 50-kilo (110 pounds) sack of wheat flour from 167 to 450 Sudanese pounds ($65, 54 euros), Mohamed Al-Saeed, a member of a barky owners’ union, has told AFP.
That sent bread prices soaring and in response leading opposition groups have called for anti-government protests across the country.
“The Umma Party calls on all its members and Sudanese citizens to protest peacefully against the rise in bread prices,” the main opposition party said in a statement.
“The only way to solve this problem is to overthrow the regime,” it added.
The opposition Communist Party and the Sudanese Congress Party also called for anti-government protests.
“The only way to defeat this regime is to go in the streets and demonstrate to get back the dignity of Sudanese people and their freedoms,” the Communist Party said.
“People have to protest against these economic policies.”
Sudan had witnessed sporadic protests in late 2016 after a government decision to cut fuel subsidies.
The authorities had cracked down on those protests in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the deadly unrest that followed a similar round of subsidy cuts in 2013.
Dozens of people were killed in 2013 protests when security forces crushed large street demonstrations, drawing international condemnation.


Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

Updated 52 min 56 sec ago
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Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

  • The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen
  • UAE minister Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a confidence-building measure

The United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led military coalition, is not leaving war-torn Yemen despite an ongoing drawdown and redeployment of Emirati forces, a UAE minister has said.

“Just to be clear, the UAE and the rest of the coalition are not leaving Yemen,” minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in an opinion piece published Monday in The Washington Post.

“While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain. In accordance with international law, we will continue to advise and assist local Yemen forces.”

The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen, where a years-long conflict between government forces - backed by the Saudi-led coalition - and Iran-backed Houthi militia has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The UAE is a key partner in the military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against the Houthi.

Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a “confidence-building measure to create new momentum to end the conflict”.

“As the United Arab Emirates draws down and redeploys its forces in Yemen, we do so in the same way we began - with eyes wide open,” he said.

“There was no easy victory and there will be no easy peace.

“But now is the time to double down on the political process.”

The warring sides have fought to a stalemate, and several rounds of UN-sponsored talks, the last held in Sweden in December, have failed to implement any deal to end the war.

Since 2015, tens of thousands of people - mostly civilians - have been killed in the conflict described by the United Nations as the world’s worst manmade humanitarian crisis.