Sudan protests: 'I waited six hours for petrol'

Sudan protests: ‘I waited six hours for petrol’

People in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, have been protesting against fuel and bread shortages. Anger about this same issue back in December 2018 is what sparked mass anti-government protests that led to the downfall of President Omar al-Bashir.

One woman told the BBC’s OS programme how she waited for six hours at a petrol station on Wednesday, eventually getting fuel close to midnight after her children had already fallen asleep at home.

Four hours into her wait, Tagreed Abdin decided to keep a log of what happened.

At 21:20 local time (19:20 GMT):

Quote Message: I’ve been here so long [that] my husband brought supplies – snacks, diet coke and stuff. So here I am, waiting. I called the kids because it’s bedtime. When I told [the petrol station staff] we’d been here for four hours they told me some people have been here since 09:00.”

Female motorists are in one queue, and men in the other. Motorists are let through at a rate of five men to one woman. Later, motorists argue and things start to get violent:

Quote Message: In the end the ladies convinced the local neighbourhood committees to let the cars go through five guys to two women. I saw that the line hadn’t moved for an hour. I’m thinking of bailing.”

At 23:16 local time she is close to being served alongside another female motorist. During their long wait the pair have become friendly and exchanged phone numbers. Ms Abdin says:

Quote Message: She still has to get home and see what her kids are going to have for breakfast and to get their uniforms ready. The women of Sudan continue to inspire me… I’ve lost track [of time]. But now I can see the pumps for the first time.”

At 23:25 local time Ms Abdin finally gets her fuel:

Quote Message: Victory at last. I just filled up my tank after six hours. Hallelujah. Thank you!”

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