Bread crisis in Khartoum escalates and schools’ opening delayed amid fears of demonstrations

Altaghyeer: Khartoum

The bread crisis in the Sudanese capital Khartoum unprecedentedly escalated forcing authorities to postpone the resumption of schooling after Eid Aladha break due to fears of “a student’s uprising”.

Queues grew in length in front of bakeries all over Khartoum as tens of people of both genders would make sure to arrive at dawn in a scene that would bring back the early days of the regime in 1989.

Sudanese authorities previously asserted that the crisis is due to be solved as they stated that an agreement with mills and flour companies has been reached after these companies suspended their activities as the value of the Sudanese pound soured against the US dollar.

Instead, the crisis deepened during Eid Aladha break and in the last couple of days as tens of bakeries had to close for not receiving their flour quotas.

A bakery owner in Omdurman said that he was forced to stop working since he didn’t get his flour quota, indicating that many other bakeries in the area are also out of business.

Meanwhile, the ministry of education in Khartoum state announced a delay to the return of students at the basic and secondary levels to schools, which was scheduled for Sunday 26th of August, to Tuesday 28th, to enable schools “to get prepared for receiving students”, according to the ministry.

Nevertheless, reliable sources confirmed to Altaghyeer that security authorities demanded the ministry to make the delay “against possible difficulties that might be created by students amid the bread crisis”. And they went on to add “in a meeting that included top ministry officials and security authorities, the latter demanded the ministry make the deferral until the bread issue is resolved to avoid any protests and demonstrations, and the decision was taken on Saturday and the ministry was asked to immediately implement it”.

It is worth noting that the massive popular protests that erupted in September 2013 against the regime’s economic measures that led to hikes in prices were led by students, especially at the basic and secondary levels. Security authorities used “excessive force” to quell those protests that resulted in more than 200 casualties and many wounded according to rights’ groups, while the government admitted to only 80 casualties.

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