Hundreds of people participated in an anti-government protest in Atbara (Nile River state) on Wednesday, December 19. According to Nile River state's governor, the protesters burned the local headquarters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and a fuel station during the rally. A state of emergency was declared following the violence, including a nightly 18:00 to 06:00 (local time) curfew. Further protests and violence are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Cities throughout Sudan, including Atbara, Khartoum, Kassala, and Port Sudan, have been experiencing bread, fuel, and cash shortages. The current shortages come as the economy continues to suffer from surging inflation. Various protests have taken place in Sudanese cities since early January due to price hikes, notably in Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman. The government has begun to implement a number of broad-based economic reforms in line with recommendations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to stabilize the economy and foster growth. For example, on October 7, the government ordered the devaluation of the Sudanese pound compared to the US dollar, the third such devaluation since early 2018; the exchange rate is now SDG 47.6 to USD 1, compared to SDG 6.7 to USD 1 in 2017.
Individuals in Atbara are advised to monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities (including curfew orders), and avoid all protests as a precaution.
More generally, individuals in Sudan are advised to fill up vehicle tanks whenever gasoline is available, ensure a sufficient level of fuel reserves before embarking on long journeys, and postpone nonessential travel until the situation stabilizes. Remain vigilant at all times, notably at key supply locations such as gas stations, ATMs, and bakeries during periods of scarcity due to the risk of confrontations or criminal activity.
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