KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 19 (UPI) -- The Sudanese president said conflict with rebel groups along the southern border was putting a strain on the country's finances.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced plans for structural reforms that are part of an austerity measure meant to reduce public spending.
Sudanese police clashed with student protesters in Khartoum last weekend. The independent Sudan Tribune reports tensions are high in the country amid economic uncertainty. The government later this year aims to end a fuel subsidy and inflation in the country jumped 30 percent last month.
Bashir added that fighting with rebel groups along the border was a financial strain. He said he would defeat "agents and mercenaries" supported by the government in South Sudan.
South Sudan gained independence in July under the terms of a 2005 peace agreement. Both sides approached the brink of war this year, however, because of border disputes.
Opposition parties in Khartoum, meanwhile, called for a show of solidarity in an effort to force Bashir from office.
Bashir assumed power in 1989 in a bloodless coup. He's wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed in the Darfur region of Sudan.