Sudan's Bashir bans rallies, announces foreign currency 'reforms'

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Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir on Monday unveiled new measures to end protests that have rocked Sudan for over three months now, including a ban on unauthorised rallies.

In line with a state of emergency declared last week, Bashir also gave the country’s security forces sweeping powers to to raid buildings where “suspicious activities were being carried out” and also search people, the presidency said.

The decrees came amid fresh protests in various parts of the capital Khartoum, where security forces used tear gas against hundreds of students demonstrating inside the campus of the country’s oldest women’s university.

READ MORE: Timeline of anti-government protests in Sudan

Other measures include;

  • Blocking roads and stopping traffic was banned
  • Publishing news “that hurts the citizens or the constitutional system” on any platform, including social media, was also outlawed
  • A new court and a special prosecutor were created to investigate violations of the measures, with offenders facing up to 10 years in prison
  • Prosecutors have been given the authority to strip people such as lawmakers and military officials of immunity

Managing the economic crisis

Deadly protests began on December 19 after the government tripled the price of bread and quickly evolved into demonstrations against Bashir’s rule.

In the face of public anger over Sudan’s economic woes, Bashir on Monday announced measures to tackle the foreign currency shortage.

The presidency said no more than $3,000 would be allowed to be carried by any individual travelling outside the country.

Bashir also ordered that buying and selling of foreign currency be done only through official channels.

Over the past two years, the foreign exchange market has seen high volatility, forcing the country’s central bank to devalue the local pound twice last year.

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