Hundreds of Sudanese protesters took to the streets across the country on Wednesday to demand the government’s resignation over the International Monetary Fund-backed (IMF) economic reforms.
The protests erupted a day after the IMF approved a $2.5bn loan and debt relief deal that will see Sudan’s external debt reduced by some $50bn.
Public discontent has mounted over the reforms that slashed subsidies on petrol and diesel, more than doubling their price.
Dozens gathered in Khartoum and burned tyres and brandished banners that read “bread for the poor” before they were dispersed by police firing tear gas.
In a statement later on Wednesday, Sudan’s interior ministry said 52 police officers were wounded in clashes in several parts of Khartoum.
Security forces also used tear gas against demonstrators who attempted to join the protests from Omdurman, the capital’s twin city across the Nile.
In Kassala, in Sudan’s east, dozens demanded justice for people killed in demonstrations that toppled strongman president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
Sudan has been led by a transitional civilian-military administration since August 2019.
The government has vowed to fix the country’s economy, battered by decades of mismanagement, internal conflict and international sanctions under al-Bashir.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok praised Sudan’s people for their “patience” and “endurance”.
“We are on the right track,” the premier said in a televised speech after the IMF announcement of the debt relief deal.
Wednesday’s demonstrations coincide with the anniversary of the military coup which brought al-Bashir to power more than 30 years ago.