World Bulletin/News Desk
Weekly Friday sermons at mosques across Khartoum encouraged congregants to be "patient" in an apparent effort to blunt ongoing protests against a government move lifting state subsidies on fuel and other commodities.
"The imam of Khartoum's Shaheed Mosque spoke about patience," Isam Omer, resident of the capital's Al-Mugran district, told Anadolu Agency.
Mohamed Hassan, 45, a resident of Al-Maamour, heard similar advice from the imam of Khartoum's Maamour Mosque.
"He mentioned the behavior of the prophet's companions in such situations and called on us to follow them," Hassan said.
Sudanese authorities are believed to have ordered mosque imams to avoid mentioning the ongoing anti-austerity protests, which engulfed the country for the fifth consecutive day on Friday.
Reports circulated widely that pre-written Friday sermons had been distributed in advance to many preachers.
Meanwhile, the imam of the Sudanese Army Forces warned the government of a potential 'uprising of the hungry,' calling on security forces not to kill demonstrators.
Sudan has been rocked by mass protests following a government decision on Sunday lifting state subsidies on fuel and several other commodities as part of a controversial economic reform program. The government also raised taxes on a number of consumer goods.
The move sent the prices of hydrocarbons and consumer commodities skyrocketing, instantly triggering demonstrations.
While activists say more than 70 people have been killed in the protests, Sudanese authorities put the toll at 29.
Although backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the austerity measures – which also include devaluation of the local currency – sparked massive protests in July.
The severe public backlash forced the government to change gears, opting instead for a more gradual approach to economic reform.Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2013, 23:07