State of emergency declared in Sudan’s city after protests

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir looks on before addressing the nation on the eve of the 60th anniversary of its Independence Day at the presidential palace in Khartoum

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir looks on before addressing the nation on the eve of the 60th anniversary of its Independence Day at the presidential palace in Khartoum

Government of northern Sudan’s Nahr al-Neel State Wednesday declared state of emergency in Atbara, the state’s biggest city, and imposed a curfew in the wake of protests in the city, Sudan’s Ashorooq net reported.

 

“A meeting for the state’s security committee has declared the state of emergency and imposed a curfew until further notice,” Ibrahim Mukhtar, spokesman for the Nahr al-Neel state government, was quoted as saying.

 

He said that the decision excluded the service institutions and utilities, adding that another decision was issued to suspend classes at all basic and secondary schools in Atbara city.

 

Meanwhile, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) condemned the protests which took place in Atbara city, according to official SUNA news agency.

 

“Any citizen has the right to express his opinion peacefully, but what happened in Atbara is not consistent with the concept of peacefulness,” said Ibrahim Al-Siddiq, NCP spokesman.

 

He described the protests in Atbara city as “an attempt to disturb security and stability”.

 

He said that “the right of expression of stances and opinions is guaranteed by the constitution, but sabotage is unacceptable.”

 

The headquarters of the ruling party in Atbara, the headquarters of the local government and a fuel station were burned during the protests, according to local TV station.

 

The protests began peacefully and then turned into violence and vandalism.   Sudan has been suffering a dire economic crisis since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which caused a loss of 75 per cent of oil revenues. -Xinhua

 

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