Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir who has been in power for 30 years on Monday reiterated that he would not step down after weeks of violent protests and calls for him to quit over a worsening economic crisis.
“Demonstrations will not change the government,” Bashir told crowds of supporters gathered in Niyala, the capital of South Darfur state, where just a day ago police had broken up an anti-government demonstration, state television reported.
“There’s only one road to power and that is through the ballot box. The Sudanese people will decide in 2020 who will govern them,” said Bashir, who is planning to run for the presidency for the third time in elections to be held next year.
Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19 when angry crowds took to the streets in towns and villages against a government decision to raise the price of bread. Security forces have used live ammunition to disperse demonstrations. Amnesty International has said that at least 40 people have been killed.
In the initial days of protests, several buildings and offices of Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party were set on fire in towns and villages.