Sudan: Protests continue against austerity measures

Khartoum sees a fifth day of protests end in violence and arrests.

In scenes dubbed ‘the Sudan Revolts’, protestors – many of them students – have repeatedly clashed with police on the streets of Khartoum . Several students have been arrested, and seven people have been injured. Sudanese police used tear gas and sticks on the crowds in an attempt to quell the protest.

The protesters chanted “the people want regime change” and “Khartoum revolts against the dictatorship ( and the government thieves”.

The USA, concerned by the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, urged the Sudanese government “to respect the right of its citizens to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in order to raise their grievances.”

The protestors are demonstrating against huge cuts in public spending in the country’s forthcoming budget. In an emergency session on Tuesday,  Sudan’s council of ministers, led by President Omer Al-Bashir, met and approved drastic amendments to its 2012 budget.

As well as approving laws aimed at reducing public expenditure, the council also took steps to cut government spending across a number of areas.

Since losing 75% of its oil production last year when South Sudan seceded, Sudan’s economy has been trying to cope with rapidly rising inflation and a depreciating currency.

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