Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Sudan gov't to tackle security disruption: president

Sudan gov't to tackle security disruption: president

In an address to police yesterday, Al Bashir called on police forces to refrain from using excessive force to quell demonstrators, recalling that their duty is to maintain security, not to kill civilians.

Sudanese opposition leader Omar el-Digeir has been arrested after a crackdown on anti-government protests held across Sudan on Friday, his Sudanese Congress Party said.

Some activists said police used live ammunition.

Hundreds of security forces were deployed in Khartoum ahead of the protests, with some of them forming a security ring around the presidential palace.

The 74-year-old leader, who has been president for nearly three decades and is facing increased calls to step down, also offered to boost police officers' salaries and pensions and support their accommodation, education and health care.

Al-Bashir statements about the reduction of the use of force and violence raised a heated debate in the country through the social media as many saw in it as a tacit invitation to kill protesters.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday said the government will not tolerate sabotage or damage to personal or property security.

Sudan's military has dominated the country since independence in 1956 and the ongoing protests bear some resemblance to popular revolts in 1964 and 1985 that toppled military regimes and ushered in democratically elected governments, later overthrown by military coups in 1969 and 1989 respectively.

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Sudanese authorities say at least 19 people have been killed in street demonstrations that swept several Sudanese states against rising prices and shortages of basic commodities earlier this month.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on authorities in Sudan to investigate deaths during violent protests in Khartoum and other cities.

Activists and opposition figures had Sunday renewed calls for mass protests Monday, before Sudan's independence day anniversary, January 1.

Sudan's president on Sunday said the country will get through the current crisis, while the Interior Ministry reiterated its support for him amid ongoing protests which began on Dec.19.

Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation, despite the USA decision to lift an economic embargo in October 2017.

Inflation is running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel have regularly hit several cities.

The foreign exchange crisis has steadily escalated since Sudan's partition in 2011, when South Sudan took away the bulk of oil earnings.

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