Sudanese police clash with students in Khartoum

KHARTOUM Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:36pm IST

Heavily armed police patrol Khartoum's main streets January 30, 2011. Police beat and arrested students in central Khartoum, witnesses said on Sunday, as demonstrations broke out throughout the city demanding the government resign. REUTERS/Stringer

Heavily armed police patrol Khartoum's main streets January 30, 2011. Police beat and arrested students in central Khartoum, witnesses said on Sunday, as demonstrations broke out throughout the city demanding the government resign.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese police beat and arrested students on Sunday as protests broke out throughout Khartoum demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Hundreds of armed riot police fired tear gas on students demonstrating in central Khartoum and in at least two universities in the capital, which were surrounded by police reinforcements. At one, students hurled stones at police cars.

Police beat students with batons as they chanted anti-government slogans like: "We are ready to die for Sudan" and "Revolution, revolution until victory".

Groups have emerged on social networking sites calling themselves "Youth for Change" and "The Spark", since the uprisings in nearby Tunisia and close ally Egypt this month.

"Youth for Change" has attracted more than 15,000 members.

"The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore," its Facebook page said. "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."

Sudan has a close affinity with Egypt as the two nations were united under British colonial rule. The unprecedented scenes there inspired calls for similar action in Sudan, where protests without permission, which is rarely given, are illegal.

Before Tunisia's popular revolt, Sudan was the last Arab country to overthrow a leader with popular protests, ousting Jaafar Nimeiri in 1985.

Opposition leader Mubarak al-Fadil told Reuters his two sons were arrested on their way to the central protest.

Editor-in-chief of the al-Watan daily paper Hussein Khogali said his daughter had been detained by security forces since 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) accused of organising the Facebook-led protest.

Pro-government newspapers carried front page warnings against protests which they said would cause chaos and turmoil.

The Sudan Vision daily's editorial blamed the opposition.

"Our message to those opposition dinosaurs is to unite their ideas and objectives for the benefit of the citizens if they are really looking for the welfare of the Sudanese people," it read.

Sudan is in deep economic crisis which analysts blame on government overspending and misguided policies. A bloated import bill caused foreign currency shortages and forced an effective devaluation of the Sudanese pound last year, sparking soaring inflation.

Early this month the government cut subsidies on petroleum products and key commodity sugar, triggering smaller protests throughout the north.

Sunday's protests coincided with the first official announcement of results for a referendum on the oil-producing south's secession from the north showing an overwhelming vote for independence, which many in the north oppose.

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Exclusive

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine peace outlook is bleak - OSCE official.  Full Article 

Third Term

Third Term

Sri Lanka president seeks third term, critics want powers curbed.  Full Article 

Considering Pardon

Considering Pardon

Egypt's Sisi says pardon for Al Jazeera journalists "being discussed".  Full Article 

Difficult Diplomacy

Difficult Diplomacy

Iran still stalling as nuclear deal deadline looms - watchdog.  Full Article 

Detention Order

Detention Order

Swedish appeal court upholds Assange detention order.  Full Article 

Iranian Blogger

Iranian Blogger

Iran's Supreme Leader frees pioneering Iranian "Blogfather" - media.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage