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Food price rises spark protests, hoarding

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Anger over high food prices has sparked protests in several countries. Surging food prices have posed a particular risk to poor economies. Here are some details of recent price rise protests and disturbances:

* BURKINA FASO - Unions called a general strike in April over soaring costs of food and fuel that triggered riots in February. The government extended a suspension of import duties on staple foods.

* CAMEROON - At least 24 people were killed in protests that erupted in February and were linked partly to rising living costs. Human rights activists put the death toll at 100. The government raised state salaries and suspended customs duties on basic foodstuffs.

* IVORY COAST - Police in Ivory Coast fired teargas at the end of March to disperse demonstrators protesting against steep price rises in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

* MOZAMBIQUE - At least six people were killed in Mozambique in protests that erupted in February over high fuel prices and living costs. The government agreed to cut the price of diesel fuel for minibus taxis.

* SENEGAL - More than 1,000 people, some carrying empty rice sacks, marched through Senegal's capital Dakar on April 26 to protest against rising food prices.

* SOUTH AFRICA - Thousands of members of South Africa's powerful labour federation marched through Johannesburg in April to protest against higher food and electricity prices.

* HAITI - Protests in Haiti over high prices for rice brought down the prime minister in April. At least six people were killed in two weeks of riots and demonstrations in the poorest country in the Americas.

* ARGENTINA - Argentine farmers went on strike for three weeks until early April over tax policies and other government measures, including export bans, aimed at taming food price inflation.

* PERU - More than 1,000 women protested outside Peru's Congress on Wednesday, banging empty pots and pans to demand the government do more to counter rising food prices. Farmers upset by rising fertilizer costs and seeking debt relief had blocked rail and road links in February. They said a free trade deal with the United States would flood markets with subsidized agricultural imports.

* BANGLADESH - In April factory workers rampaged at Fatullah, 12 km (8 miles) east of the capital, Dhaka, in protests against rising food prices, leaving at least 50 people injured. Retail prices of wheat, edible oil and pulses had doubled over the previous 12 months.

* VIETNAM - Vietnam moved to quell panic over rice supplies on April 28, banning speculation in the market after a "chaotic" buying binge highlighted growing global fears about food security.

* INDONESIA - Soaring soybean prices have cut into the earnings of makers and vendors of tempeh, Indonesia's traditional soybean cake, sparking protests.

* AFGHANISTAN - In the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad some 300 protesters took to the streets in April over prices.

* RUSSIA - Thousands of people protested against rising food prices across Russia on Thursday, highlighting one of the biggest challenges that will face Dmitry Medvedev when he takes over as president next week.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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