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There's unfinished business in the birthplace of Sudan's revolution

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:41s - Published < > Embed
There's unfinished business in the birthplace of Sudan's revolution

There's unfinished business in the birthplace of Sudan's revolution

People in Sudan's Atbara, a colonial-era railway hub, support the national government in the capital some 220 miles to the south, but say some of the main grievances which drove their uprising - poor salaries and unemployment - remain.

Emily Spychal reports.

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There's unfinished business in the birthplace of Sudan's revolution

Atbara was the birthplace of Sudan's revolution.

Abdelaziz Abdallah, a railway worker turned union leader, was on this train when it left Atbara in April, carrying protesters to join the masses on the streets in Khartoum demanding the military stand aside.

Now he says that uprising has much further to go.

Some of the grievances that drove them to rise up remain -- poor salaries and unemployment.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRESIDENT OF RAILWAY WORKERS UNION, ABDELAZIZ ABDALLAH, SAYING: "Railway workers have among the lowest state salaries.

Some people earn as little as 1,200 Sudanese pounds ($26) a month, the highest salaries for engineers and workers could reach 3,500 Sudanese pounds ($77)." As well as decent salaries, people in Atbara also want funds to revive the railway, once Africa's longest network, now crumbling.

Their town was established as a railway hub by British colonialists and it has been a barometer for the political mood in Sudan ever since.

This year's protests ousted long-time ruler Omar Bashir and four months later forced the military to agree to share power with a civilian-led transitional government.

But now Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok needs to avert the collapse of an economy wrecked by three decades of mismanagement and U.S. sanctions.

He wants to increase salaries, but needs the help of wary international donors to do so.




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