KHARTOUM, SUDAN, JULY 25 -- The Sudanese government today declared a year-long nationwide state of emergency to secure the country against "enemies of democracy."

Announcing the decision after a Cabinet meeting, Supreme Council Chairman Ahmed Ali Mirghani said it was prompted by "chaos in the market reflected in the scarcity of essential commodities" because of illegal hoarding, black market dealings and widespread smuggling. The announcement referred to instability in some regions because of the spread of armed robbery and "illegal infiltration of arms."

The announcement, which came amid protests and strikes by civil servants, said the state of emergency was aimed at stopping all activities that hindered public services. {Various news agency reports from Sudan left it unclear what precise measures the government will take.}

Employes of state radio and television, cable and postal services and the weather bureau went on strike this week to back demands ranging from better terms of employment to the dismissal of senior officials. A general strike in the southern province of Bahr Ghazal was declared this week in protest of deteriorating living conditions. In Atbara, an industrial town north of Khartoum, railway workers staged a peaceful march to air similar grievances.

Street riots and strikes preceded the April 1985 military coup that ousted former president Jaafar Nimeiri.

Today's declaration came as Sudanese and International Monetary Fund officials discussed how to reform Sudan's economy, burdened by a civil war in the south.