A fire is seen burning in a street during protests against price increases in Atbara, Nile River state, northeastern Sudan, Dec. 20, 2018.
A fire is seen burning in a street during protests against price increases in Atbara, Nile River state, northeastern Sudan, Dec. 20, 2018.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has made his first public comments about ongoing anti-government protests, urging citizens to reject what he called "attempts to plant frustration."

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaks during a press conference after the oath of the prime minister and first vice president Bakri Hassan Saleh at the palace in Khartoum, Sudan, March 2, 2017.
Sudan Opposition Calls Grow for March on Bashir's Palace
Opposition calls grew on Monday for a march on Sudan's presidential palace to demand the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar Bashir, in a potential escalation after days of protests that security forces have sought to violently put down in the capital Khartoum and cities across the country.   An umbrella coalition of independent professional unions said its members will march Tuesday on the Republican Palace in Khartoum and submit a written demand for Bashir to step down.

More demonstrations took place Monday in Jazeera state, south of Khartoum, where Bashir is scheduled to make a visit on Tuesday.

The protests began nearly a week ago after the government tripled bread prices.According to the official Sudan News Agency, Bashir said Monday that the state "will continue to carry out economic reforms to ensure decent living of the citizens."

A fire is seen burning in a street during protests against price increases in Atbara, Nile River state, northeastern Sudan, Dec. 20, 2018.
Sudanese Unions to Launch Strike to 'Paralyze' Government
A coalition of unions in Sudan says it plans to "paralyze" the government with the first of what it says will be indefinite strikes by professionals. Doctors and other hospital workers plan to stay off the job Monday and only deal with emergencies. The coalition urges all Sudanese to keep up their street protests against the government of President Omar Bashir, triggered last week by shortages of food and fuel and a sharp jump in the price of bread. Police used tear gas against a group of…

Sudanese doctors alongside professionals from other sectors went on strike Monday in support of the protests.

A committee of doctors said in a statement that it would submit a formal demand to the president to step down Tuesday "in response to the uprising by the Sudanese people," the French Press Agency reported.

Police have clashed with protesters in several locations over the past six days. The reported death toll from the violence ranges from eight to 22.

Government officials blame the protests on what they call infiltrators and saboteurs.

A tweet sent out by the state-run news agency says the Sudanese military "stands behind its leadership" and will safeguard the country's security and safety and honor.

Bashir seized power in a 1989 Islamist-led coup that ousted democratically-elected Sadeq al-Mahdi, who is now Sudan's opposition leader.In the past, he has shown little tolerance for dissent.