TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Demonstrations were held in several neighborhoods of Khartoum on Thursday with riot police hurling tear gas canisters in an attempt to disperse the crowds of chanting protesters in at least two districts.
No report of possible injuries or detention of protesters has yet been released.
Sudan is struggling with months of persisting protests. On December 17, an anti-government campaign erupted over price hikes and shortages of food and fuel.
The demonstrations first erupted in the farming town of Atbara after cash-strapped Khartoum cut a vital subsidy on bread and tripled its prices.
The move infuriated people and triggered protests, which swiftly mushroomed into nationwide anti-government rallies, particularly in the capital and its twin city of Omdurman.
That initial public display of anger quickly spiraled into calls for Bashir, who took power in 1989 through a military coup, to step down.
During a swearing-in ceremony for a new cabinet, embattled Bashir said that he was ready to engage in dialogue with the opposition.
“Securing peace and silencing the sound of the rifle is our most important priority for the country and we will communicate with the forces that reject dialogue for the sake of political stability,” the 75-year-old president said.
He made the announcement on Wednesday as he reshuffled the cabinet and appointed at least 15 new ministers.
Last month, Bashir declared a state of emergency across the African country, dissolved the central government, replaced state governors with security officials, boosted police powers and prohibited unlicensed public demonstrations.
However, the measures proved to be largely ineffective in halting the wave of rallies. Several protests have been staged since the measures came into effect.
The Sudanese president is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his alleged role in genocide in the Darfur region, which he strongly denies. He has also been lobbying for his country to be removed from a list of the countries the US considers state sponsors of terrorism.
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has purportedly been carrying out a crackdown on protesters, opposition leaders, activists, and reporters in an attempt to prevent the spread of the rallies, which are viewed as the biggest threat to Bashir’s decades-long rule.
Official figures say 31 people, including some security agents, have lost their lives since the onset of the rallies. Some rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, say at least 51 people have died so far.
Bashir, however, has so far remained defiant, addressing loyalists at a number of rallies across the country and seeking support from regional allies.
Sudan has been suffering from a worsening economic crisis, including a serious shortage of foreign currency.
The cost of some commodities, including medicines, has more than doubled and inflation has hit 70 percent. A growing lack of food and fuel has also been regularly reported across several cities, including the capital.