Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons Tuesday as hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated against soaring bread prices near a presidential palace in Khartoum, an AFP correspondent said.
Bread prices have more than doubled after a jump in the cost of flour due to dwindling wheat supplies, after the government decided to stop importing grain and allow private companies to do so.
The protest was the biggest in Khartoum since demonstrations erupted in some parts of the country earlier this month following the price increase. It comes as a shock in recent times due to Sudan’s increased growth and commitment to a ceasefire in conflict areas of the country. This prompted the U.S. to revoke sanctions against Sudan, which took place in mid-October of 2017.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters poured into the streets near a presidential palace in central Khartoum after the opposition Communist Party of Sudan called for an anti-government rally.
“No, no to hunger! No, no to high prices!” protesters shouted near the palace.
Police fired tear gas and hit protesters with batons as they tried to break up the protest.
A senior leader from the Communist Party, Siddig Yousif, was detained along with several protesters, the correspondent reported.
Later on Tuesday police dispersed the rally near the palace but protesters staged small demonstrations in nearby streets as they were chased away.
On Monday last week, students also rallied against the rising prices near Khartoum University but police swiftly broke up the protest.
The day before, in the town of Geneina in the war-torn region of Darfur, a student was killed during a similar protest. It was unclear how he was killed.
Anti-government protests erupted after the cost of a 50-kilo (110-pound) sack of flour jumped from 167 ($9) to 450 Sudanese pounds ($25).
Similar protests were held in late 2016 after the government cut fuel subsidies.
The authorities cracked down on those protests to prevent a repeat of the deadly unrest that followed an earlier round of subsidy cuts in 2013.
Dozens of people were killed in 2013 when security forces crushed large street demonstrations, drawing international condemnation.