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Sudan's unrest in 300 words
Tabansi|April. 08, 2019
Sudan has been wracked by months of protests but why did they start and what is their aim?
How did it all begin?
In December, the government tried to stave off economic collapse, brought on by years of US sanctions and loss of oil revenue, with emergency austerity measures and a sharp currency devaluation .
Cuts to bread and fuel subsidies sparked demonstrations in the east over living standards , but the anger soon spread to the capital, Khartoum.
What are the protests' aims?
Initially, they were focused on rising costs but quickly widened into demands for the removal of President Omar al-Bashir, in charge for nearly 30 years , and his government.
Protesters buoyed by recent developments in Algeria have adopted slogans of regime change that echo the Arab Spring of 2011.
There have been calls for a transitional government.
Who are the protesters?
The economic problems brought Sudanese from all walks of life on to the streets but the organisation of demonstrations was taken on by the Sudanese Professionals Association, a collaboration of doctors, health workers and lawyers .
The number of women among the protesters has been put as high as 70% and they come from all ages and backgrounds. They say they are also demonstrating against Sudan's sexist attitudes in a Conservative Muslim society where Sharia law is practised.
How bad is the unrest?
There was a swift crackdown after December but protests continued despite a ban.
Human Rights Watch says protest-related violence has killed more than 50 people.
What has the president done?
In February, it looked like he might step down, but instead he declared a state of national emergency . He also sacked some officials.
He says protesters have legitimate grievances but should replace him through elections, due in April 2020 when he says he'll stand down .
How will it end?
Much depends on the military. There are reports some soldiers are backing protesters but for now the top echelons remain loyal.
A protest outside army HQ in Khartoum, seemingly an attempt to get the military to remove the president, is ongoing and how that ends may be key.
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