News / Africa

Protests Grow in Khartoum

By Alsanosi Ahmed

Sudan protester (Alsanosi Ahmed/VOA)
Sudan protester (Alsanosi Ahmed/VOA)
KHARTOUM — Large protests erupted Friday in Khartoum and other parts of the country, marking a month since student-led demonstrations began in the Sudanese capital.
 
After a fiery sermon delivered by the preacher of Sayyed Abdurrahman mosque in Omdurman, about half of the worshipers took to the street chanting “the people want the downfall of the government,” and “we will not be ruled by thugs.”
 
But their march did not last long. The hundreds of men and women had barely reached the main playground outside the mosque when security forces in gas masks began firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors.
 
Protest organizers dedicated Friday's protests to Sudanese women. Umeima was one of them.
 
“I’m here today at the mosque to express myself over the hike of the food prices, and this regime is not showing any care for the people,  I am sure these protests will succeed because people are angry,” said Umeima.
 
Umeima said they are especially angry at President Bashir who claims the people are incited by outsiders, something she denies.
 
The Sayyed Abdurrahman mosque acts as the informal headquarters for Sudan’s biggest opposition group, Umma National Party. Most of the major protests over the last four weeks have started there following Friday prayers.
 
South Sudan’s decision to shut down oil production with Sudan has devastated the economies of both countries. South Sudan stopped pumping oil in a dispute with Sudan over transit fees charged for using Sudan’s pipelines.
 
The economic downturn has forced Sudan to end fuel subsidies, sending prices skyrocketing and prompting many Sudanese people to take part in the rallies.
 
Mohammed, a member of the Umma party youth wing, was detained during the initial protests but was recently released. As soon as he was freed, he rejoined the protests.
 
On Friday, Mohammed was wearing a thick glove on his right hand, which he used to pick up cans of teargas fired at protesters. He threw them back at police.
 
“The harsh economic situation made people to come to the mosque and express themselves in these protests. We are suffering from dictatorship rules, tyranny, and hypocrisy,” he said.
 
Every Friday activists say half of the youth who come to the mosque do not return home. Activists estimate more than 2,000 people have been detained over the past month.
 
And yet, people keep coming to the protests.  Mona is an unemployed youth who uses Facebook and Twitter to learn where the protests are being held.
 
 “We are desperately in need of freedom. The people are hungry; they don’t have jobs," said Mona. "I finished my university [studies] in 2008 but I didn’t get any job because I have to bribe someone in the government to secure a job.”
 
Opposition parties have vowed to stage sit-ins at mosques and carry out more civil disobedience until President Bashir is no longer in power.
 
The government closed Khartoum University on Thursday after a surge of protests by students, and professors, but activists say they will likely fuel even more resentment.
 
Things are still tense at the Sayyed Abdurraham mosque, where more than 20 people were detained and at least 100 were being held inside. Police surrounded the grounds carrying sticks, handcuffs and AK-47s.

Listen to report on Khartoum protests
Listen to report on Khartoum protestsi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: BF from: Netherlands
July 13, 2012 5:34 PM
what a surprise... Islam... just stay away from Europe!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid