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Sudan’s Khartoum State Government Fired Amid New Protests

Khartoum State Governor Abdel Rahman Khedr dissolved his Cabinet as part of Sudan’s austerity measures, which have sparked five days of student protests.

Khedr said in an interview that he decided yesterday to dissolve the government of the state that houses the capital to comply with measures President Umar al-Bashir announced June 18 to cope with the loss of about 75 percent of the country’s oil output when South Sudan seceded in July.

About 200 students gathered at the University of Khartoum early today to prepare for another anti-government rally. Police fired tear gas and warnings shots yesterday to disperse protesters, who responded by throwing rocks and chanting, “Khartoum rise up, rise up, we won’t be ruled by a thief.”

“I urged the police forces in Khartoum to deal with protesters according to the law, but to deal firmly with any unlawful activity in the name of protest,” Khedr said in his office today.

The decline in Sudan’s oil income resulted in a $2.4 billion budget deficit and a surge in inflation to 30.4 percent last month.

The measures announced by al-Bashir include devaluing the Sudanese pound to 4.4 a dollar from 2.7 now, removing fuel subsidies, raising taxes and cutting the size of the national and regional governments by as much as 56 percent.

Khedr said he will trim the new Cabinet to six or eight state ministers from 13.

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