Episode
December 6, 2016

Austerity measures fuel discontent in Sudan

What impact will recent economic policies have on the country’s citizens?
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Tensions are high as Sudan’s government tries to resolve the country’s economic troubles. New rounds of fuel subsidy cuts and price increases in medication, food and electricity have the Sudanese community mobilising on and offline. Activists say the hikes and the government’s policies are directly impacting the country’s low-income citizens.

In late November, some took part in #SudanCivilDisobedience protests against the subsidy cuts and price hikes. Utilising several hashtags in Arabic and English, Sudanese people are sharing how they have been affected.

Some have taken their grievances to the street. At one demonstration in the capital Khartoum last week, about 300 protesters were met with tear gas by police. Hundreds of pharmacies in the city temporarily closed their doors and went on strike last month in solidarity with protesters and in response to the rising costs of medicine. There have also been reports of a crackdown on opposition voices and newspapers covering the demonstrations that are critical of the government. 

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan’s economy has struggled to recover after losing three-quarters of its oil production. Additionally, rising inflation and US sanctions are adding to the discontent. The government asserts the recent austerity measures are part of an economic reform programme necessary to getting the country on track. We will look at how Sudan’s current economic climate is impacting citizens. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Ahmad Mahmoud @AmAhmad249
Freelance filmmaker 

Ahmed Kodouda @TheDooda
Sudanese commentator

Samahir Mubarak @samahirmubarak
Pharmacist

Mekki El-Mograbi @MekkiElmograbi
Media Counselor, Embassy of Sudan 
sudanembassy.org

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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