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Food prices soar in Sudan

Sudan’s annual inflation rate rose to 41.2 percent in May, reflecting a 3.9 percent monthly rise.

A handout picture released by UNAMID shows Aisha Abdala, a displaced woman from Katila, South Darfur, cooking next to her shelter at the al-Sereif camp for Internally Displaced Persons. Picture: AFP

KHARTOUM - Sudan's annual inflation rate rose to 41.2 percent in May, reflecting a 3.9 percent monthly rise, the Central Statistics Office said on Sunday, underlining the soaring cost of food.

Prices have surged in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the state's oil output - Sudan's main source of foreign currency, which it needs to support its pound and pay for food and other imports.

The Statistics Office's monthly bulletin said the monthly rise was due to "an increase in the prices of food and beverages in May".

In April, annual inflation was running at 37.7 percent.

A government decision to cut fuel subsidies along with other austerity measures last year prompted protests in which dozens were killed and hundreds were injured.

On Sunday, around 300 unemployed Sudanese protested in front of Khartoum's governor office asking for jobs. "I graduated from the faculty of science five years ago and I am still unable to find a job," said 28-year-old protester Mohamed Abdel Allah.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has stayed in power for over two decades despite armed rebellions, US trade sanctions, an economic crisis, an attempted coup and an indictment from the International Criminal Court on charges of masterminding war crimes in the troubled region of Darfur.