News24

Police tear gas Khartoum food demo

2011-09-27 11:25

Khartoum - Police fired tear gas and used batons to break up a protest in Khartoum against the punitive rise in food prices, witnesses said, with protesters burning tyres and demanding cheaper food.

The demonstration began on Monday afternoon when some 400 youths gathered in a street in Burri, a residential district in the Sudanese capital, shouting "No, no to high food prices!" and burning tyres, several witnesses told AFP.

Riot police used tear gas and batons against them, chasing some of them away.

But the demonstration continued until 22:00, with some families living nearby joining the protesters and the street remaining closed, the witnesses said.

Police confirmed that a group of people had gathered in a street in east Khartoum, burning tyres to block the traffic and demanding lower prices, but said they had "contained the disturbance" and that no one was hurt.

The Sudanese government is scrambling to contain the crisis of high food prices, which has hit ordinary Sudanese hard and forced painful household spending cuts.

Traders in Khartoum's main market say the price of beef has doubled since January and demand has slumped.

A rare three-day meat boycott called two weeks ago by the Sudanese consumer protection society, a local NGO, in protest at soaring food inflation, had little effect on the rising prices.