One Killed As Protest Rocks Sudan Over Rise In Bread Price

 

A protest sparked by rising bread price has led to the death of a student demonstrator in eastern Sudan.

A local official and relatives affirmed the report amid mounting protests over the rising price of bread on Thursday.

“The situation in Al-Qadarif is out of control and the student Moayed Ahmad Mahmoud was killed,” said Mubarak al-Nur, a lawmaker in the city 550 kilometres (340 miles) from the capital Khartoum.

Mahmoud was a university student, he said.

Nur called on authorities “not to use force against demonstrators, who are asked to peacefully exercise their right” to protest.

A government decision to raise the price of bread this week from one Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents) sparked protests across the country on Wednesday.

Angry protesters on Thursday set fire to the headquarters of President Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) in two locations, witnesses said.

Demonstrators in Al-Qadarif “threw stones at banks (in the city centre) and smashed cars,” resident Tayeb Omar Bashir told AFP by phone.

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They then “moved to the ruling party headquarters near the market it torched it completely”, he added.

Demonstrators then moved towards the police station where they called for “freedom” and chanted “the people want the fall of the regime”.

Protests in Dongola, 500 kilometres north of Khartoum, “started with university students who were joined by others when they reached the city centre”, an eyewitness told AFP by phone.

“They attacked the headquarters of the NCP and set it ablaze,” the witness said.

In the city of Atbara, around 400 kilometres east of Khartoum, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters just hours after authorities imposed a curfew on the city because demonstrators had torched its NCP headquarters.

“Some 1,500 demonstrators tried to enter the city of Atbara from (a suburb) calling for the fall of the regime,” an eyewitness said.

“Riot police intercepted them and fired tear gas at them,” the witness added.

The bread shortage has hit Sudan’s cities for the past three weeks, including the capital.

In the past year, the cost of some commodities has more than doubled in Sudan, where inflation is running at close to 70 percent and the pound has plunged in value.

Sporadic protests broke out in January this year over the rising cost of food, but they were soon brought under control with the arrest of opposition leaders and activists.

Sudan had significant oil reserves until South Sudan gained independence in 2011, and the north-south split saw the country lose three-quarters of its reserves.

AFP

We’re sorry for increasing the price of bread – Bakers

The President of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers, Lagos State Chapter, Jacob Adejorin, on Monday, appealed to the public over the hike in the price of bread.

Mr. Adejorin said in Lagos that the increase is unavoidable because bakers can no longer run the business at a loss.

“It is not our desire to make life uncomfortable for members of the public. We have seriously considered them before increasing the price of our products,” he said.

He said that ingredients used in the production of bread have become too expensive for bakers.

The master baker said that a bag of wheat is now being sold for N7, 100 as against the previous price of N5, 750; while a bag of sugar is now N9, 000 from N5, 000.

“Many of our members have gone out of business. Some of them have been forced to return to their villages, while others have taken to other businesses,” he said.

Bread vendors said a loaf of Val-U bread and UTC bread, which used to cost N180 no sells for N220 while loaves that used to cost N100 and N120 now cost N120 and N150 respectively, and the N150 loaf now sells for N200.