Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir warns people calling for a regime change will not topple him Reuters/Stringer

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has claimed his regime will not be defeated "by keyboards and WhatsApp". The leader made the comments days after the opposition and activists announced a two-day strike on 19 December.

The strike will be in protest against rising prices of commodities, particularly medicines and food, in the country.

"In the past few days we have heard some people, who are hiding behind their keyboards, calling for the overthrow of the regime", Bashir was quoted by AFP as saying during a rally in the eastern town of Kesala.

"We want to tell them that if you want to overthrow the regime, then face us directly on the streets. I challenge you to come out onto the streets. But we know you will not come because you know what happened in the past... This regime will not be overthrown by keyboards and WhatsApp."

A similar strike already occurred in November, when opposition groups and activists called for a three-day "civil disobedience" .

The strike was prompted by the government's decision to increase petrol and diesel prices by 30% earlier this year. The move led to the rise in the cost of goods including medicines and public transport.

This, coupled with a sharp fall of the Sudanese pound and US economic sanctions, is further weakening the country's economy.

Keyboards are 'the only way '

In response to Bashir's remarks, activists and opposition members told IBTimes UK people use social media to organise strikes as they fear a possible repression by security forces, similarly to what happened in 2013.

Cuts on fuel and gas subsidies in 2013 sparked protests which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people. Activists said at least 200 people were killed, while the government put the death toll at less than 100.

"This is a typical criminal statement and carry a very clear threat to the people of Sudan that they will not hesitate to kill us , the tanks and guns are useless when it comes to strike. And that's exactly the reason why Sudanese people are hiding behind the keyboard and why we prefer the 'Civil Disobedience,'" Ahmed Abdelbasit, a member of the opposition Liberal Party, told IBTimes UK.

"It's very hard for a someone wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) or criminal activities against the humanity to understand that our hash tags and Whatsapp messages can remove him out.

Another activist told IBTimes UK the strike will commence on 19 December, as the date marks "the initial Declaration of Independence of Sudan".

On 19 December 1955, the Sudanese parliament unanimously adopted a declaration of independence that became effective on 1 January 1956, when the country gained independence and became the Republic of Sudan.

Khartoum Hospital Street
Khartoum Hospital Street deserted as thousands are taking part in a three-day strike in protest against fuel subsidy cuts Sudanese activists