Police clash with anti-government demonstrators in Sudan


Nairobi: Police and students clashed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Sunday after activists called for a demonstration against high living costs and corruption on social networking site Facebook.

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Reports said police fired tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in central Khartoum and at universities as thousands took to the streets.

More than 16,000 people had indicated on the Facebook page they would attend demonstrations apparently inspired by similar events in Tunisia and Egypt.

“The people of Sudan will not remain silent any more,” the organizers wrote on the Facebook page. “It is about time we demand our rights and take what’s ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage.”

“We will demonstrate against rising prices, corruption, unemployment and all false practices of the government such as violence against women and lashing them in ways that breaks all laws of religions and humanity and the violation of minorities’ rights.”

A video posted by one of the demonstrators Sunday afternoon showed hundreds of people marching through Khartoum chanting anti-government slogans.

Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi was recently arrested for suggesting that protests such as those seen in Tunisia, which forced long-term leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power, were a strong possibility in Khartoum.

Bashir Adam Rahma, spokesman for al-Turabi’s Popular Congress Party, told Arabic broadcaster Al Jazeera after the arrest that Sudanese President al-Bashir should be concerned by the events in Tunisia.

“This is a very bad situation economically, and due to the winds of freedom coming from Tunisia, any dictator in the region is looking to see from where the danger will come,” he said.

The protests came as results showed Southern Sudanese had voted overwhelmingly for independence from the north.