Oct 03 2013
Massive protests have been going on in major cities around Sudan this past week over rising fuel prices. Police have arrested up to 800 protesters and reportedly killed at least 200 demonstrators.
Although the protests were provoked by the spike in fuel prices caused by an end of government subsidies, demonstrators also denounced President Omar al-Bashir’s brutal rule which has been in place for 24 years.
Two dozen senior officials in Bashir’s Government have signed on to a letter asking him to reverse the fuel price hikes but Bashir has refused. However, fearful of more protests, Bashir has shut down popular newspapers, television stations and the internet. He has also promised to distribute one-time monetary payments to half a million people, raise the minimum wage and increase public sector salaries in an attempt to mollify the angry public.
Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, is wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2008 for “acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” in Darfur where up to 400,000 people died. Last week he cancelled his visit to the United Nations where he could have faced arrest.
GUEST: Akshaya Kumar, is the Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst for the Enough Project at American Progress
Follow news of the revolt in Sudan on Twitter with #SudanRevolt.
Find out more about the Enough Project’s work on Sudan at www.enoughproject.org.