Sudan protests 'are no Arab Spring'

2012-06-25 17:35
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. (AFP)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Khartoum - Nine days of country-wide protests against high prices in Sudan are no "Arab Spring", President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday, referring to a series of uprisings against regional strongmen.

"The people who burn the tyres are small in number and they are pushing for a fight," he told about 1 000 Sudanese students, suggesting that someone was behind protests in his country.

Anti-regime demonstrations have widened since Bashir on 18 June announced austerity measures including tax hikes and a phasing out of fuel subsidies to prop up the country's ailing finances.

"They said these economic measures would be a chance for an Arab Spring in Sudan. But the Arab Spring in Sudan happened many times already," he said, referring to previous uprisings by "all" the country's people.

In 1964, protests led to a mass mobilisation that toppled the military dictatorship then in power.

But Bashir said he himself remains popular.

He said he took an "open car" around Khartoum on Friday, when smoke hung over the city from burning tyres, as residents of many neighbourhoods clashed with police and denounced the regime and high food prices.

"When the people saw me they shouted 'Allahu akbar'," Bashir said.

The protests over rising prices started with students outside the University of Khartoum. But they broadened to include a cross-section of the population in numerous locations throughout the capital, and several other parts of the country.

Tear gas and batons

On Sunday, lawyers opposed to food price inflation took to the streets near the courthouse in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state, where some were arrested, witnesses said.

Separately, about 100 students from a local university in El Obeid also protested and called for the downfall of the regime, while other demonstrators gathered in the town's main market, the witnesses said.

Police responded with tear gas and batons, they added, in what has become the standard reaction by security forces since demonstrations began on 16 June in Khartoum.

Bashir, an army officer who seized power on 30 June 30 1989, withstood earlier student-led protests by thousands of people objecting to high prices in 1994.

Though smaller in size, the current protests have occurred continuously for more than a week, with citizens blockading streets and throwing stones at police.

Witnesses on Sunday evening reported groups of about 100 people demonstrating in two areas of Khartoum.

Security forces in the Red Sea town of Port Sudan beat people who were about to protest there, arresting some, witnesses also reported.

State security officers ordered one of Sudan's main opposition parties, Umma, not to hold any public forums at its headquarters, a party leader said.

Poverty rate

"We are going to discuss this in our political bureau and decide what to do," the party's general secretary, Ibrahim Al Amin, told AFP.

Hundreds of people attended a forum over food prices at Umma's offices last week before their attempt to demonstrate was met with police tear gas.

Inflation has risen each month, hitting 30.4% in May, before Finance Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul on Wednesday announced a jump of about 50% in the price of petrol.

Bankrupt Sudan has lost billions of dollars in oil receipts since South Sudan gained independence last July, leaving the north struggling for revenue, plagued by inflation, and with a severe shortage of dollars to pay for imports.

The country's poverty rate is 46.5%, the United Nations says.

Sudan's demonstrations remain small compared with the mass uprisings that swept some Middle East countries last year as part of the Arab Spring protests.

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

SAPS waited too long to complain about ad - DA

The DA has told a public hearing that the SA Police Service was "hopelessly out of time" to lodge a complaint against its election advert.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kenilworth - 12:59 PM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery Road and Race Course Road
  • Thursday Brackenfell - 12:39 PM
    Road name: Frans Conradie Drive Eastbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching Okovango Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off beauty products

Today only, get 30% on all hair care, skincare, selected cosmetics and fragrances. Offer expires midnight 24 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.