Fed up by what they see as Sudan’s worsening economic situation, anti-government demonstrators are continuing their call for the resignation of longtime leader President Omar al-Bashir. The marches, which have occurred almost daily in Khartoum and other cities for more than two weeks, have the support of the country’s professional unions and opposition political parties. On Thursday, a prominent member of Bashir’s National Congress Party also called for the Bashir to step down.
Some of the demonstrations have turned deadly and destructive. In Atbara, the ruling party’s headquarters were set on fire. Last week security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at demonstrators attempting to march to the presidential palace in Khartoum. According to the government, at least 19 protesters have been killed since December while the human rights group Amnesty International estimated the death toll to be at 37.
Protests started on December 19, after an increase in the price of bread and they have since grown into larger rallies against alleged corruption and government mismanagement during Bashir’s nearly 30-year rule. People in Sudan are also dealing with fuel shortages and currency devaluation.
In a recent address marking the nation’s 63rd independence day, President Bashir spoke of new development projects and policies “aimed at lessening the people’s suffering”.
So will the latest protests create any improvement in living conditions for the Sudanese people, and what type of change do citizens want for their country?
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