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Sudanese protest in Khartoum over bread shortages

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Bread loaves in a bakery in the capital Khartoum January 23, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Hundreds of people demonstrated in different areas in the Sudanese capital on Saturday to protest breadlines and fuel shortages.

Hundreds of protesters marched in Al-Arbaeen Street of Omdurman and a number of neighbourhoods where they blocked roads and set fire in tires.

Similar protests took place in the neighbourhoods near the centre de Khartoum North.

The demonstrators chanted slogans against the economic plans of the transitional government and protested over bread and fuel shortages.

The bread crisis has exacerbated in recent days due to the high cost of subsidized bread. Dozens of bakeries decided to close complaining of steep losses.

Further, bakeries are calling for raising the price of the subsidized bread to 5 pounds per loaf from 2 pounds.

For its part, the Khartoum state government decided to change the criterion for determining the selling price to be based on the kilogram instead of the loaf of bread.

Under the new pricing mechanism, the price of a kilo of bread is 50 pounds, regardless of the number of loaves.

The state government said that monitoring campaigns will be carried out on the bakeries of the capital to ensure their compliance with the weight, in addition to another campaign on restaurants and cafeterias to ensure that they do use subsidized bread.

In April 2020, Khartoum state raised the price of subsidised bread to 2 pounds per loaf from 1 pound.

Despite some tough economic measures, the transitional government still subsides the flour bakers use to produce bread. However, the Sudanese authorities failed to curb the corruption in the distribution channels.

For the fuel and the gas, the problem seems related to the hard currency market which supplies dollars to importers due to continued failure of the banks to provide dollars.

(ST)

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