Continuing information on Sustained Protests 4-days in a Row:
SUDAN: Austerity package sparks protests
KHARTOUM, 20 June 2012 (IRIN) - Protests have taken place in Khartoum, nearby Omdurman, and other Sudanese cities over the past few days after Sudanese president Umar Al-Bashir announced a new austerity plan.
Sudanese police used tear gas and batons against some 200 protesters chanting anti-regime slogans in Omdurman market on 19 June. Earlier on in the day, witnesses said police had also used force to disperse two university demonstrations.
Bashir on 18 June announced the gradual removal of fuel subsidies and an increase in taxes and customs duty on luxury products, among other measures. The plan aims to help increase revenue and narrow a US$2.4 billion budget deficit caused by the loss of oil revenue since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011.
Fuel Lines in Khartoum today
“The current economic and political context is threatening to unleash a revolution of the hungry that will inevitably topple the government," said Hafiz Ismail, an economist and Sudan director of the London-based advocacy group Justice Africa.
The protesters also complained of a 35 percent hike in public transport tariffs in Khartoum. Sudanese inflation rose to 30.4 percent in May from 28.6 percent in April, according to the country's statistics agency.
Students gathered at the gates of Khartoum's Sudan University chanting "No to price hikes" and "People want the regime down", before the police dispersed them using "excessive violence", according to Ghazy Badridden, a faculty of engineering graduate who participated in the demonstrations.
Students from Ahlia University in Khartoum were driven out of their classrooms after a large number of security personnel, accompanied by students who belong to the ruling National Congress Party, entered the campus in pick-up trucks, attacking student with clubs and batons.