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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More