Sudan police fire tear gas at hundreds of protesters


Sudan President Omar al-Bashir addresses troops during his visit to Sudan's main petroleum center of Heglig on April 23, 2012 after the South Sudan withdrew. Bashir said there will be no more talks with South Sudan and called the South Sudanese "insects".


Ashraf Shazly

Police in Sudan have fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters staging anti-austerity marches outside mosques in the capital, Khartoum and the country’s second city, Omdurman, on the 23rd anniversary of the coup which brought current President Omar al-Bashir to power.

According to CNN, thousands of Sudanese have taken to the streets to demand that Bashir be ousted over Sudan’s current economic misfortunes. About 500 riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters as they left Khartoum’s Al Sayid Amdelrahman mosque after Friday prayers, while clashes also broke out outside the Al Sayid mosque in the city.

In Omdurman, witnesses told Reuters news agency that security forces had surrounded the Imam Abdel Rahman mosque on the outskirts of the city, and fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones at police.

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Some of the protesters sported anti-government placards at Friday’s demonstrations, the latest since students launched protests two weeks against the government’s attempts to cut spending due to dwindling oil revenue following South Sudan’s secession, the BBC reported.

According to GlobalPost, the protests have since taken on a more political and anti-regime flavour. In a statement via Twitter, activist group Sudan Change Now said:

“After 23 years of endurance, the Sudanese people have decided to say enough is enough. These protests although initially triggered by the economic crisis in the country, are more than that; they are protests against a dictatorship, an oppressive, corrupt, incompetent government that has lied to us for two decades and must be stopped.” 

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