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09 Apr 2020 | 06:09 AM UTC

Sudan: Protests possible in Khartoum despite ban on public gatherings April 9

Protests remain possible in Khartoum over the near term despite ban on public gatherings following rise in the price of bread April 9; heightened security presence expected



Protests are possible on Thursday, April 9, in Khartoum despite authorities' ban on public gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). This comes after authorities implemented a rise of the price of bread on Wednesday, April 8, to two pounds per loaf from one pound beforehand in a bid to calm bakers citing steep losses and threatening to strike. According to media sources, long lines have begun forming outside bakeries in recent days, caused by problems in ensuring supplies of subsidized flour to bakeries.

Due to the ban on gatherings, lines outside bakeries are likely to be dispersed by police forces using violence. Clashes with security personnel are therefore possible.


Context The government pays 75 percent of the cost of the flour bakers use to produce bread in exchange for fixing the price of each loaf. Bakers, have threatened to go on strike over rising operating costs and the steady weakening of the Sudanese pound.

Bread shortages, caused by difficulties in raising hard currency to import wheat, triggered four months of mass protests which - with the help of the military - eventually toppled former President Omar al-Bashir on April 2019 after three decades in power.


Individuals in Khartoum are advised to monitor developments of the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.