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

Iraqi Kurds Warn Baghdad While Moving Toward Independence Vote

Warning comes after Iraqi air raid kills four in Kurdish-held territory, and as most world leaders warn against secession More

Study: Childhood TB Rates Much Higher than Estimated

Research also presents first-ever estimate of new TB infections among children: nearly eight million in 2010 More

China Establishing New Silk Roads

Beijing officials promote creation of two new economic paths - so-called 'Silk Roads' - one a land-based road and another a maritime trade route 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.
Civilians Fear Mideast Violence Could Turn Into Full-Scale Wari
X
Zlatica Hoke
July 09, 2014 1:24 PM
Violence in the Middle East is escalating at a time when there are no new peace talks in sight. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have condemned the brutal deaths of three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian teen, and have vowed to punish those responsible. But both sides also seem to be gearing up for more fighting. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Civilians Fear Mideast Violence Could Turn Into Full-Scale War

Violence in the Middle East is escalating at a time when there are no new peace talks in sight. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have condemned the brutal deaths of three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian teen, and have vowed to punish those responsible. But both sides also seem to be gearing up for more fighting. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video American Roadside Attraction 'Dinosaur Land' Lures Visitors

A big part of the American landscape of the middle 20th century was the roadside attraction - small zoos, amusement parks or quirky museums along the highways families traveled on their way to vacation destinations. Most of those attractions are gone, but one in Virginia, a couple of hours from Washington, called Dinosaur Land, is still going strong.
Video

Video Burma Football Friendly Brings Together Battlefield Opponents

As most of Myanmar’s ethnic armies maintain a fragile ceasefire with the government, some of the troops were able to let off a little steam, World Cup - style. Steve Sandford reports from Karen State, Myanmar, also known as Burma, on a peace initiative aimed at building trust between the opposing sides of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.
Video

Video FIFA’s Football for Hope Tournament Kicks Off in Brazil

As excitement builds toward the final matches of football's (soccer's) World Cup, another competition has kicked-off in Brazil. The Football for Hope Festival brings together underprivileged young people from around the world for an event that is less about winning than about enjoying the game and one another. Scott Bobb reports from Rio de Janeiro.
Video

Video Brazil Evictions Continue Near Future Olympic Sites

Football's World Cup in Brazil is drawing to a close leaving great sporting memories. It also leaves a legacy of controversy over evictions and land dispossessions that made way for the event. The scenario is repeating itself as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from a community near a future Summer Olympics site.
Video

Video More Americans Turning 100 Than Ever Before

An Arkansas woman who just celebrated her 116th birthday isn't as unusual as some might think. Gertrude Weaver -- officially the oldest living American and second-oldest person in the world -- belongs to a fast-growing segment of the U.S. population: people who are 100 years old or older. There are about 53,000 centenarians in the U.S. today. VOA's Julie Taboh shares their secrets to longevity.
Video

Video Caipirinhas Introduced to International Audience at World Cup

The hundreds of thousands of football fans visiting Brazil for the World Cup are consuming large quantities of caipirinhas, the national tipple based on muddled lime and the sugarcane-based spirit cachaça. VOA’s Brian Allen talks to some of the expert caipirinha purveyors in Rio and has this report.
Video

Video Ocean Sole: Turning Trash Into Art

From Kenya to Washington may seem a long way to travel to spread a simple environmental message. But one group from Nairobi is doing just that at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Mackenzie Buckwalter has more for VOA on their work cleaning up their nation’s coastline -- and turning discarded rubber sandals into art.

AppleAndroid