Monday, June 18, 2012

Sudan Protests II

Students at the University of Khartoum entered the second day of demonstrations, chanting "people want the regime down" and social media has run warm while waiting to see if this is "the real deal" or not. This is not the first time (and probably not the last) that students demonstrate against the government. Last December authorities closed down Khartoum University temporarily after more than a week of protests against the government.

The inflation in the country is currently running at 30 percent, but some economists claim it can be as high as 40, and the Sudanese people have been building up their anger against rising food prices and the government's plans to cut fuel subsidies.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addressed parliament around lunch, Monday, saying that the government had decided to "raise taxation and remove fuel subsidies "step by step." Furthermore, hundreds of federal and state positions will be axed and officials's salaries will be cut. Needless to say, people weren't too happy about the announcement. More on the announcement here.

Riot police has continued to fire tear gas and use batons against the protesters. There has been reports of both rubber bullets and live ammunition being fired, but the reports are yet unconfirmed. Students answered the brutality by throwing stones at the police and an unconfirmed number of protesters have been detained and taken away in trucks to police stations. Some claim they've been brought to torture chambers. As always with social media, it's difficult to know what's fact and what is rumors.

The security presence has been heavy all over the city centre and while the students at Khartoum University have had a hard time during the day (police has raided the female dorms at the campus) tweets now claim that Omdurman Ahliya University (link currently down) has joined the protests during the afternoon and that protesters are cutting off a road (video) near the Ministry of Defence.

Update: In early evening 30-40 youths have reportedly been beaten and arrested as they attended a meeting at the headquarters of New Democratic Forces Movement (HAQ) in Khartoum 2. The young activists, may of them Girifna members, were taken into trucks owned by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and there whereabouts are unknown at the moment. Tweeps are calling for lawyers to help out.




Photo from Twitter.

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