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Posts tagged ‘Protests in Sudan’

Sudan: Student Protests Ripple Across Sudan

21 April 2016

Khartoum — Students at universities across Sudan have taken to the streets and campuses in protest against the murder of a student at the University of Kordofan on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, protests and demonstrations broke out at the universities of Khartoum, as well as several other universities including Port Sudan in Red Sea state, the University of Kordofan in El Obeyed, and the University of Dongola in the Northern State.

As reported by Radio Dabanga this week, Abu Bakr Hashim, who studied in the first level at the University of Kordofan Faculty of Engineering in El Obeid, was shot dead when students who support the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) fired at members of the United Students Opposition, who were on their way to deliver their student council election list to the university center.

Kordofan

A demonstration by Kordofan University students toured the streets of El Obeid City, monitored closely by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and police.

On Wednesday the Red Sea University students in Port Sudan condemned the killing of student Hashim of the University of Kordofan, and demanded the return of their own students union that has been stopped for years.

Red sea

A student from the Red Sea University told Radio Dabanga that the police broke up a peaceful demonstration at the city market by using batons and tear gas.

One student was seriously injured and taken to Port Sudan hospital for treatment. The police and NISS forces chased the students back to the university campus.

Also on Wednesday, the NISS detained four students from the front of a building complex at the University of Khartoum after beating them; thus bringing the number of student detainees to nine.

Khartoum

A student from the University of Khartoum told Radio Dabanga that the NISS gents attacked the students with batons after they held a vigil at University Avenue and the medical complex demanding the release of the detainees and refusing the sale or transfer of the university headquarters.

He explained that the NISS closed all entrances leading from dormitories to the university and have besieged the university buildings. The four new detainees include Saiyed Mohamed Zain and three other students whose names have not been identified.

White Nile State

A sit-in by sit -in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Imam El Mahdi in Kosti in White Nile State has entered its third week. The students are demanding amendments to the regulations prepared by the university administration earlier last year.

A student told Radio Dabanga the Governor of White Nile state visited the Faculty and asked them to end the sit-in, promising to resolve the problem.

He added that the students are demanding a timetable for the amendments to the regulations and the need to involve students in drafting the new regulations as stipulated in the Constitution of the university.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201604220407.html.

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Hundreds protest in Sudanese capital

Wed Oct 12, 2011

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Hundreds of Sudanese took to the streets of central Khartoum on Tuesday to demonstrate against high food prices and to demand better public transport, witnesses said.

Protests are rare in Sudan but anger has been building over an economic crisis and spiraling inflation after the country lost most of its oil reserves to newly-independent South Sudan.

About 300 people protested in the main bus and taxi station in Khartoum to demand better public transport, witnesses said. Students from the university faculties joined the crowd to protest against food inflation.

“The students shouted: ‘No to high prices. Bread, bread for the poor,” a witness said, declining to be identified. Police arrived at the scene but did not interfere, he said.

Hundreds of people also protested at a bus station in the suburb of Omdurman, another witness said. The protesters then marched on a Nile bridge linking Omdurman with Khartoum and started throwing stones at private cars and police vehicles, the witness said.

Police said in a statement that a group of citizens had thrown stones at cars crossing the bridge, adding that it had prevented “acts of sabotage.”

Sudan has a poor public transport system with commuters mostly relying on private taxis and mini-buses which struggle to meet demand and often get accused of overcharging.

Many Sudanese have been hit hard by inflation which reached 20.7 percent in September due to high food prices, while the Sudanese pound has dived on the black market in past weeks.

The government has reacted with a package of measures, including temporarily waiving duties on basic food imports.

But economists doubt inflation will ease much as Sudan lost most of its oil reserves when South Sudan became independent, reducing the inflow of foreign currency needed to pay for imports, leading to scarcities.

The economy is dependent on oil and small-scale gold exports. The government wants to diversify the economy but progress has been slow, which experts blame on U.S. trade sanctions and poor planning.

© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved

Source: Reuters.

Link: http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE79B00420111012.

Sudanese journalists protest for detained Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt

2014-02-27

KHARTOUM – About 100 Sudanese journalists and activists staged a silent vigil on Thursday in support of a global campaign to support Al-Jazeera television journalists detained in Egypt.

“Working as a journalist is not a crime,” said a banner held by the protesters who gathered on a street near the Qatar-based satellite channel’s Khartoum office.

The channel’s local staff was among the demonstrators, who carried pictures of the four detained Al-Jazeera staff including Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.

They have been held since December in a case that has sparked an international outcry.

Their trial began in a Cairo court last week, against the backdrop of strained ties between Cairo and Doha, which backed deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi was ousted by the army in July.

The government has designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization”, although the group denies involvement in a spate of bombings since Morsi’s overthrow.

The journalists are accused of supporting the Brotherhood and broadcasting false reports, charges denied by the television network.

A fourth Al-Jazeera journalist, Abdullah al-Shami, has been held since August.

Al-Jazeera declared Thursday a “global day of action” in support of its staff and for media freedom generally.

Unusually for a protest in Sudan, no police were seen near the Khartoum vigil, which dispersed peacefully after about an hour.

Sudanese reporters have previously demonstrated against a lack of freedom in their own country, which ranked near the bottom, at 170 out of 179, in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2013 World Press Freedom Index.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=64533.

Two Dead, 24 Injured As Security Forces Fire On Demonstrators in Central Darfur

17 FEBRUARY 2014

Zalingei — Two men were killed and 24 injured when security forces fired live bullets at a demonstration of displaced people in Zalingei in Central Darfur on Monday morning.

They went to the streets to protest against the Social Peace Conference in Central Darfur’s capital, organized by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).

The three-day Social Peace Conference convened in Zalingei held its closing session on Monday in a tent on a distance of half a kilometer east of El Hamidia camp.

The coordinator of the Zalingei camps for the displaced explained to Radio Dabanga that residents of El Hamidia, Khamsa Degaig, Hasaheesa, and El Salam camps went out on Monday at 8am to demonstrate against the Social Peace Conference and the “falsification of the will of the displaced”.

They not only protested against the “government-backed militias attending the conference and speaking on their behalf as leaders of the displaced”, but also against the security forces’ assault of Koran scholar and activist, sheikh Matar Younis Ali Hussein, and the abduction of El Hamidia camp residents Yagoub Abdallah and Younis Ibrahim by militiamen on Sunday.

The demonstrators gathered east of El Hamidiya camp, where they were addressed by the organizers who read them their statement. They then headed towards the site of the World Food Program. “Then”, the coordinator said, “nine Land Cruisers approached, six of them mounted with a Dushka machinegun, carrying a large number of Central Reserve Police (known as Abu Tira), Unified Police and security forces troops. They began firing at the demonstrators, killing Muhamed Ali Yagoub (17) and Mohamed Ibrahim Karkab instantly and 24 people were injured, nine of them critically.

The names of 21 of the wounded are: Madiha Hussein Ibrahim (8 months), Mani Yagoub (4), Halima Mohamed Ali (7), Idris Hassan Ismail (9), Inaam Abdel Rahman Ismail (9), Fatima Abdel Rahman Abdallah (12), Jawahir Suleiman Idris Arbab (14), Dar El Naeem Salih Adam (14), Halima Mohamed Ali (16), Shadia Adam Ismail (16), Halima Adam Mohamed (16), Adam Hamid Idris (18), Rumana Yagoub Daoud (20), Yagoub Adam Yahya (22), Samia Sadeeg Haroun (22), Fateen Mohamed Osman (25), Kaltoum Mohamed Juma Karkab (25), Halima Abdallah Mohamed (25), Haja Daoud Mahmoud Omar (32), Noura Bakhit Ibrahim (36), and Halima Abakir Ali (70).

The shooting also ignited a fire at the El Hamidia camp, wiping out 15 shelters.

The Zalingei camps coordinator said that he holds Dr Tijani Sese, head of the DRA, Yusif Tibin, the Governor of Central Darfur State, responsible for the violence against the displaced. He also holds Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the head of Unamid, responsible, who came to attend the Social Peace Conference.

He appealed to Unamid and health care organizations to intervene immediately to rescue the nine critically wounded.

The Central Darfur State government, however, strongly denied the version of the displaced, and accused “people with a hidden agenda” to be behind the demonstration. Muhamed Abakar Hassan Mohamedein, spokesman for the National Congress Party in Central Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that the security troops were forced to intervene to protect the University of Zalingei’s buildings and secure the conference. The demonstrators, he explained, were young instigators from the El Hamidia camp, and adherents of the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdel Wahid El Nur.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201402180213.html.

Thousands protest as Sudan officials promise cash

September 29, 2013

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets of the capital Khartoum late Sunday, chanting “freedom” and renewing calls for their longtime autocratic president to resign after dozens of protesters were killed in a week of demonstrations sparked by austerity measures.

The government, which has imposed a media blackout, moved to appease the rancor with cash, saying it would distribute cash to half a million families to offset higher fuel and food prices in a country where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line.

The street demonstrations, which began after subsides were lifted last week, have been the most widespread in Sudan since Omar al-Bashir seized power 24 years ago. Waving pictures of slain protesters, thousands held a Sunday-night memorial for Salah al-Sanhouri, a demonstrator shot Friday during an earlier protest in Burri, an old Khartoum district.

Women called for the “downfall of the regime” and chanted “freedom, peace and justice, revolution is the choice of people.” Residents cheered on the marchers from rooftops while nearby security forces were stationed in pick-up trucks carrying mounted machine guns near the spot where al-Sanhouri was shot.

“The protests will continue and will reach a general strike. This is our aim,” said Ghazi al-Sanhouri, a nephew of the slain protester. “We will keep uncovering the regime’s brutal tactics in suppressing the protests by killings and atrocities.”

Al-Sanhouri’s father, Moudthir al-Reih, told The Associated Press: “this regime will come to an end … God willing it will be over.” Public discontent had been growing over failed economic and political policies that led South Sudan to break off and became an independent state in 2011, taking approximately three quarters of Sudan’s oil production with it. Critics also blamed al-Bashir for draining the country’s coffers by battling armed rebel movements in three different fronts inside the country.

The unrest began in the city of Wad Madani south of Khartoum but quickly spread to at least nine districts in Khartoum and seven cities across the country. The crackdown on thousands of protesters has been violent, leaving at least 50 dead according to international rights groups. Doctors and activists put the death toll higher, telling The Associated Press it stands at more than 100. The government has acknowledged some 33 killed, including policemen.

In a latest blow to freedom of the press, Sudanese authorities also forced the country’s largest daily newspaper, Al-Intibaha, to stop printing, according to the paper’s website. The paper, the country’s largest in terms of circulation, is owned and run by an uncle of al-Bashir, al-Tayab Mustafa. Mustafa could not be immediately reached.

Several dailies came under pressure to depict demonstrators as “saboteurs.” The government also closed the offices of Gulf-based satellite networks Al-Arabiya and Sky News Arabia. Several newspapers were ordered to stop publication while others stopped voluntarily to avoid government pressure.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya Sunday, Sudan’s Foreign Minister defended the move, saying “media make revolutions.” “If the revolution is created by media, we have to be serious in dealing with it,” he said from New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Diaa Eddin Belal, editor-in-chief of al-Sudani newspaper, told the AP that editions of his paper were confiscated and they were ordered to stop printing three times since Wednesday. Back to work on Sunday, Belal said that in one incident on Friday the papers had been on their way to distribution centers when he received a phone call from police telling him that there would be no papers that day.

“The government feels that it is own existence is endangered and the press is playing a role in influencing public opinion … they want papers to turn into official gazettes that reflect only (the government’s) point of view with no criticism or negative feedback,” he said.

In a move aimed at pacifying a frustrated public, the government said Sunday it would distribute one-off payments to families in need, raise the minimum wage and boost public sector salaries. The official SUNA news agency reported that Minister of Social Solidarity Mashair al-Dawlab ordered a half million families to be given 150-Sudanese-pound ($21 by local exchange rate) aid packages in early October. It also quoted the deputy finance minister as saying the public sector salary increases would start at the same time.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s main labor union said a hike in minimum wages promised since January would be implemented in the coming two days. Still worried of lingering protests however, the Education Ministry said on Sunday that schools will remain closed until Oct. 20. Schools were closed since Wednesday after high school students led protests in different districts in the capital chanting against al-Bashir.

Sudan protesters march against ‘killer’ Bashir

Khartoum (AFP) – Sudanese demonstrators called President Omar al-Bashir a “killer” on Saturday, the sixth day of protests sparked by fuel price hikes in a nation already burdened by economic pain and war.

The latest protest came as reformist members of Bashir’s National Congress Party told him that the deadly crackdown on demonstrators betrayed his regime’s Islamic foundations.

“Bashir, you are a killer,” shouted about 2,000 men, women and youths after the burial of Salah Mudathir, 28, shot dead during a protest on Friday and hailed by demonstrators as a martyr.

“Freedom! Freedom!” they chanted.

Authorities say 33 people have died over the past week, but activists and international rights groups say at least 50 were gunned down.

An AFP reporter saw state security agents round up six people and put them into pickup trucks after police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators on Saturday.

On Friday, the interior ministry said 600 people had been arrested since the beginning of the protests “for participating in acts of vandalism”.

Mudathir was an atypical protester as most are from Khartoum’s underclass, an analyst said.

“Now you have neighborhoods revolting,” said Magdi El Gizouli, a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute.

“These are the protests of the voiceless” who have no prospects in the mismanaged nation’s bleak economy, Gizouli told AFP.

Saturday’s protest occurred after thousands of mourners walked through the streets of the wealthy Mansheeya neighborhood escorting an ambulance carrying Mudathir’s body, one witness said.

Mudathir, a pharmacologist, belonged to a family that is prominent in business and politics.

“He was killed by a bullet to the heart” while he demonstrated, a cousin told AFP.

Police did not release the victims’ names, but said “unknown shooters” gunned down four civilians during largely peaceful demonstrations which were dispersed with tear gas after Friday prayers in Khartoum.

Demonstrations began last Monday after the government scrapped fuel subsidies, leading to soaring prices.

The government measures, which almost doubled pump prices of gasoline and diesel, have had a severe impact on civilians, the 31 ruling party reformers said in a letter to Bashir, which they made public.

The package of economic measures was not presented to parliament and citizens had no chance to give input peacefully, they added.

“The package that was implemented by the government, and the crackdown against those opposed to it, is far from mercy and justice and the right of peaceful expression,” they said.

The powerful National Intelligence and Security Service, a bulwark of the regime that operates separately from police, has been involved in the protest crackdown.

It was key to suppressing smaller-scale nationwide protests sparked by high food and fuel prices in June and July last year.

At that time there was no mass loss of life when authorities tear-gassed and rounded up demonstrators.

But Gizouli insists those protests were different, driven by students and activists rather than ordinary Sudanese.

The Sudanese Journalists’ Network, an unofficial group of reporters who demand freedom of speech, announced that its members would stop work from Saturday because of official attempts to censor coverage of this week’s protests.

“We see the killing of our people and we cannot ignore this,” said a statement from the group, which claims 400 members.

Text messages referring to the Friday protests were held up in transmission for several hours and received only early on Saturday.

The demonstrations began Monday south of Khartoum in Wad Madani, capital of the decaying agricultural heartland state of Gezira.

Rallies later spread to Nyala, the battle-scarred capital of troubled South Darfur state, and to Khartoum itself.

“The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters have chanted in Khartoum, echoing the refrain of Arab Spring rallies that toppled several regional governments in 2011.

Massive protests in Sudan have brought down governments twice before, in 1964 and 1985, and late last year the government said it had disrupted an attempted coup.

The alleged leader of the plot, retired armed forces Brigadier Mohammed Ibrahim, signed the ruling party reformers’ letter. Bashir pardoned him and the other plotters earlier this year.

Sudan falls near the bottom of a United Nations human development index measuring income, health and education, and it ranked 173 out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s index of perceived public sector corruption last year.

Analysts say a major portion of government spending goes to the military and security agencies.

The military is fighting two-year-old rebellions in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where insurgents are allied with rebels from the far-west Darfur region.

That alliance in April widened its offensive to topple the government, while violence has also worsened in Darfur this year.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur.

Death Toll Unclear As Sudanese Protesters Return to the Streets of Khartoum

27 September 2013

Thousands of people have again taken to the streets of Khartoum and other Sudanese cities to protest against fuel price hikes. Dozens have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces.

The protesters poured out onto the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum following Friday Muslim prayers. The demonstrators were demanding that President Omar al-Bashir step down, a day after clashes with police in which an unknown number of people were killed.

On Thursday, the authorities said that 29 people have been killed in the unrest, including a number of police officers. However, human rights groups have put the death toll at more than 50.

The Reuters news agency reported that security forces fired teargas in an effort to break up Friday’s demonstration of an estimated 5,000 people in Khartoum.

Protests were also reported in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile River, and in Khartoum’s northern Bahri district, which has seen several days of unrest.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced that South Sudan’s oil exports will continue to flow through his country’s pipelines. (04.09.2013)

The country’s interior minister, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamad told the SUNA state news agency that security forces had arrested around 600 people suspected in connection with acts of vandalism and violence.

The latest protests broke out on Monday after a government decision to cut subsidies caused fuel prices in Sudan to virtually double overnight. The country has come under severe financial pressure since the secession of South Sudan two years ago, which saw Khartoum lose 75 percent of its crude-oil production capacity.

The demonstrations amount to the worst unrest Sudan has experienced since al-Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup. Al-Bashir has managed to cling to power over the past 24 years despite armed rebellions and US economic sanctions, as well as an indictment issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for alleged war crimes committed in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201309290141.html.

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