Violent protests, Sudan

This item appears on page 16 of the December 2013 issue.

In Sudan, the worst unrest in years took place throughout the country after new austerity measures were introduced and a reduction in fuel subsidies caused the price of fuel to double. For five days, beginning on Sept. 23, thousands of people joined in violent street protests in Khartoum and several other cities. Cars, buildings and gas stations were burned.

The government responded with military force and reported that at least 60 people were killed and hundreds arrested. Human rights groups put the number of dead in the hundreds, but accurate reports have not been possible due to government restrictions on news sources. Further protests are expected.

The US Department of State warns of the risks of traveling to Sudan and urges avoiding all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan and the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states. While the government of Sudan has taken some steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, elements of these groups have threatened to attack Western interests. The terrorist threat level throughout Sudan, and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical.