No retreat on Sudan fuel price rise: Minister

AFP , Sunday 29 Sep 2013

Sudan government says no retreat on fuel price hike, despite massive demonstrations that left 33 people killed

Sudan
A Sudanese man chants slogans at the funeral of Salah Sanhory, 26, who was killed on Friday Sept. 27, 2013 by security forces during an anti-government protest, in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Sudan will not reverse its decision to hike fuel prices that has sparked deadly protests and criticism from within the ruling party, the information minister told AFP on Sunday.

"No, it is not possible at all. This is the only way out," Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said in a telephone interview.

The near-doubling of petrol and diesel prices last Monday sparked the worst unrest in the 24-year history of President Omar Al-Bashir's regime.

Authorities say 33 people have died over the past week, but activists and international human rights groups say at least 50 have been gunned down, mostly in greater Khartoum.

Bilal said authorities had to intervene when crowds turned violent.

"This is not (a) demonstration," he said. "They attacked the gas stations. They burned about 21."

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