News from Khartoum
Authorites detain protestors against price hike
Sudan’s security forces have detained a number of politicians who have taken part in the demonstrations to protest rising prices of consumer commodities in Khartoum, Sennar and White Nile cities, leaving one student killed the same day.
In Khartoum, the security forces have detained Mr. Adil Khalafalla, a member of Baath Party and activist Ahmed Zuhair. Activist Mr. Ali Hajyo was also detained in similar demonstrations on Sunday in Ed Damazine and the White Nile.
Security apparatus also detained Mr. Al Mahi Sulaiman, a leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party in Sennar town and the president of the party Mr. Omer Al Digair and the head of the Party’s human rights Desk Mr. Jalal Mustafa.
State Minister at the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Babikir Digna, told journalists in Khartoum on Sunday that they would not hesitate to strictly deal saboteurs. “We will crush any subversive attempt,” he warned, adding “peaceful demonstrations are allowed provided prior permission is obtained from authorities as is the case in all countries of the world,”
In a bid to control the rising rate of the dollar against the Sudanese pound in the black market, the government proposed in 2018 budget an increase of the rate of the custom dollar from SDG6.7 to SDG18. The parliament adopted the budget on 31 December. After the new rate of the custom dollar entered into force on Tuesday, prices of consumer commodities shot up to more than double.
While the opposition Sudanese Congress Party called for the release of Al Digair and Mustafa, it indicated detentions against students carried out in the White Nile, Darfur and Gezira States on Sunday, the third day of street protests erupted after the killing of a student in West Darfur when government forces fired on a group of protesters.
The Constitution of the Sudan’s Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Sudan is a party provide for the right to peaceful assembly and protest as a form of expression. Therefore, there is no justification to criminalize and stop protesters from exercising such peaceful right.