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In Sudan, demonstrations against the president

The marches have multiplied for several weeks against the power of Omar El Bashir, fueled by a severe economic crisis and inflation of 70%.

Since 19 December, anti-government protests have followed in Sudan against food shortages and rising prices for bread, which has risen from one Sudanese pound (one euro cent) to three in mid-December.

An inflation of nearly 70%

According to the authorities, at least 19 people have been killed since the beginning of successive marches dispersed by the riot police with tear gas. Amnesty International has reported that a much higher death toll would have killed 37 people, according to the NGO and the UN called for an independent investigation.

Amputed by three-quarters of its oil reserves since South Sudan's independence in 2011, the country is facing inflation of nearly 70 percent a year and a severe currency crisis. Many cities suffer from shortages of bread and fuel. Increasingly rare foreign exchange complicates the importation of certain drugs by Sudanese pharmaceutical companies.

On Sunday, January 6, the Sudanese Professionals Association, which includes teachers, doctors and engineers, appealed for a new march, this time to the presidential palace in Khartoum where Omar El Bashir resides.

In Sudan, protests against expensive living are spreading

Omar El Bashir presides over his country with an iron fist

In power since the 1989 coup d'état, pursued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and war crimes, he has been an outspoken presiding over Sudan. On January 3, he said in an address, that his country was the subject of a conspiracy, a war that targets and economic sanctions that last for more than twenty years.

" This is not the first time that President Omar El Bashir ignores the demands of the Sudanese people. All dictators think the same thing, that revolts are initiated by foreigners, by intelligence services. They always want to convince people that the revolution is the result of a foreign plot, but deep down inside they know very well that the revolution is going to end its inevitable end. Said Diaeddine al-Mirghani, leader of the Sudanese Baath party, an opposition party calling for the departure of the president and the establishment of a transitional government that will hold elections.

Evan Atar Adaha, South Sudan surgeon, hailed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees

A figure of human rights and press freedom in his country, the famous Sudanese editorialist, Faisal Mohamed Salih, also a recipient of the 2013 Peter Mackler Award, (named after the former editor-in-chief of the AFP for North America), which rewards courage and ethics in journalism, was arrested Thursday at its office in the capital by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), for having expressed his support for the demonstrations. He was released on Saturday, January 5th.

Agnès Rotivel (with AFP)



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