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Sudan’s army pledges support to Bashir amid protests

Sudan has been rocked by protests against price hikes and shortage of basic commodities

Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed   | 24.12.2018
Sudan’s army pledges support to Bashir amid protests

By Mohammed Amin

KHARTOUM

The Sudanese military has reiterated support for embattled President Omar al-Bashir amid street protests over price hikes and a shortage of basic commodities.

In a Sunday statement, the army said its entire regular forces are supporting the leadership of the country.

“The armed forces assert that it stands behind its leadership and its keen interest in safeguarding the people's achievements and the nation's security, safety along with its blood, honor and assets," said a military statement cited by the official SUNA news agency.

The statement came amid reports that some senior military officers have joined protesters in the cities of Atbara, Gadaref and Port Sudan.

Several Sudanese states have been rocked by protests against price hikes, inflation and a double in cost of bread.

While official estimates put the death toll from the protests at eight, opposition groups say that at least 22 people have been killed in the unrest.

On Sunday, protests broke out in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, and the North and South Kordofan states.

Witnesses said police fired teargas to disperse fans who marched down the center of Khartoum following a football game amid chants against President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989.

Sudanese authorities have announced a state of emergency and curfew in a number of provinces over the protests, with government officials accusing Israel of plotting with rebel groups to cause violence in the country.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output – its main source of foreign currency – when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

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