On Wednesday, hundreds of Sudanese protesters took to the streets across the country demanding the resignation of the government over International Monetary Fund-backed (IMF) economic reforms. The protests erupted one day after the IMF announced the approval of a $2.5 billion loan and debt relief deal seeing Sudan’s external debt reduced by some $50 billion.
The reforms caused by the slash of subsidies on petrol and diesel, more than doubling their price, have mounted public discontent towards the government. Consequently, dozens gathered in the country’s capital, Khartoum, burning tyres and took out banners reading “bread for the poor” before they were dispersed by tear gas fired by the police.
Later on Wednesday, a statement made by Sudan’s interior ministry said 52 police officers were wounded in clashes in several parts of Khartoum.
Tear gas also used by security forces against demonstrators who attempted to join the protests from Omdurman.
In Kassala, in the country’s east, dozens of protestors asked for justice for people killed in demonstrations that toppling former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Since August of the same year, Sudan has been led by a transitional civilian-military administration.
The transitional government has vowed to fix the country’s economy, destroyed by decades of mismanagement, internal conflict and international sanctions.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok praised Sudan’s people for their “patience” and “endurance”. Hamdok stated that the country is “on the right track,” in a televised speech after the IMF announced the debt relief deal.
Wednesday’s demonstrations also coincide with the anniversary of the military coup which brought al-Bashir to power more than 30 years prior.