The Sudanese Armed Forces were reportedly deployed into several cities throughout the country, including the capital Khartoum, on Friday, December 21, in response to violent protests in recent days. At least eight people were killed in widespread anti-government protests on December 18-20. Hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably in Atbara (Nile River state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), and Khartoum - to demand increased government transparency and the implementation of anti-inflation measures. According to media reports, traffic had returned to normal in Khartoum on Friday, but a significant security presence remains in the city. However, some conflicting media sources reported hundreds of people participating in another demonstration in Khartoum on Friday. Further protests and associated incidents of violence are possible in the coming days and weeks despite the heightened security measures.
According to local reports, a state of emergency has been declared in Al-Qadarif, where six people have been killed, and in Atbara, where a curfew remains in effect from 18:00 to 06:00 (local time).
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, which reached 68.93 percent in November. 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 Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities (including curfew orders), and avoid all protests as a precaution.
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