November 2, 2011 / 5:34 AM / in 6 years

UK ambassador in Sudan keeps blogging despite protest

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Britain’s ambassador to Sudan said on Tuesday he would continue his controversial blog despite protests by Khartoum over his latest entry which criticised a severe economic crisis in the African country.

Last month, Sudan’s foreign ministry summoned Nicholas Kay after he wrote on his blog that it was no surprise that protests against food inflation “in a country where hunger stalks the land” had erupted.

Tackling the sensitive issue of inflation struck a raw nerve with the government. Sudan has avoided an Arab Spring revolt like neighbouring Egypt but anger is building up over high food prices that have triggered small protests in Khartoum.

“I am very pleased the blog has stimulated a debate about some of these important issues,” Kay told reporters.

“I am sure that I shall be writing soon and look forward to the debate continuing,” he said.

Sudan’s annual inflation hit 21 percent in August.

Kay’s regular blog on the embassy website has stirred lively debates on social media and condemnation from pro-government media.

“You don’t have to travel to the periphery of Sudan to find hunger. Daily life in Khartoum is increasingly hard,” Kay wrote last month, listing sharp price increases for several basic food items.

His comments came as Britain said it would support the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) with 4.8 million pounds to support aid operations in Sudan’s war-stricken southern border regions.

In September Sudan’s central bank governor asked fellow Arab states to help stabilise the economy by putting deposits worth $4 billion in the central bank and with commercial lenders.

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