Sudan’s opposition leader urges Bashir to step down peacefully

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The leader of Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi called on President Omar al-Bashir Wednesday to step down peacefully before facing the fate of previous dictators in the region.

“We know that the revolution is coming if they continue clinging into power,” Turabi told Al Arabiya in a phone interview from Khartoum.

“We must not allow the unrest in the country to develop into an armed conflict. If they accept advice, they have to peacefully leave; that is better for them of course than being held accountable like what is happening in revolutions across the region,” he said.

The unrest broke out in Sudan last week after the government removed subsidies on fuel, prices resulting in a sudden hike of prices.

Thousands of people then took to the street across the country and government responded with a heavy hand, killing more than 50 people.

Internet connection was shut down and schools were closed. Several newspapers and television channels were closed. Al Arabiya correspondent in Khartoum was briefly summoned for questioning and the channel’s office was closed.

After a week of unrest, President Bashir finally spoke on Tuesday this week saying the increase in fuel prices was necessary to avoid the “collapse” of the economy.

“The latest economic measures aim at preventing the collapse of the economy following the increase in inflation and instability in the exchange rate,” he said, quoted by the official SUNA news agency.

Sudan has lost 75 percent of oil revenues after the breakaway of South Sudan last year. With a shortage of revenues the country found itself incapable to keep servicing its foreign debt, which is more than $40 billion. The inflation has jumped to more than 40 percent.