Sudanese president blames West for economic troubles

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The West’s embargo has caused economic troubles in Sudan, the country’s president said on Tuesday.

Sudanese state TV reported that Omar al-Bashir, who addressed residents of a village in the Gezira state near Khartoum, said that there are saboteurs and agents, who aimed to impede the development and progress of Sudan.

Al-Bashir stated that traitors, agents, and mercenaries ruin Sudanese state’s institutions. “Sudan has economic difficulties due to the West’s embargo,” he said.

Sudanese security forces dispersed a mass protest near the presidential palace in capital Khartoum on Tuesday, according to eyewitnesses.

Thousands of protesters marched from Al-Qasr street to the presidency headquarters demanding President Omar al-Bashir to step down from power, the witnesses said.

Police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Dozens of protesters were reportedly arrested.

On Monday, al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989, pledged to carry out economic reforms amid street protests over price hikes and a shortage of basic commodities.

At least eight people have been reportedly killed since the protests began in several Sudanese states last week.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three-quarters of its oil output – its main source of foreign currency – when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

The U.S. started to impose an economic embargo on Sudan in 1997 for terror abet reason but pledged to lift it in January.