News / Africa

Student-Led Protests Spread Across Khartoum

John Tanza
Hundreds of university students from campuses across Sudan have led anti- government protests in Khartoum, Omdurman and Bahari for five straight days. The students and their supporters are protesting against recent budget cuts and austerity measures introduced by the Sudanese government early last week in response to its faltering economy. 

The cuts have caused food prices to rise sharply over the past week.

Farruk Abu Issa, the leader of the National Consensus Forces, an alliance of Sudanese opposition parties, said the protests will continue until there is a regime change in Sudan.

‘’They are not approving the policies of the government [in which] they are increasing the prices of all necessary commodities and services.’’
Issa said the protests are spreading to other towns across Sudan, sparking fear among
supporters of President Omar Al Bashir that Sudan may be witnessing its own Arab Spring.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ramatallah Osman, dismissed the protests as nothing more than a show of discontent among disgruntled students. He said the recent budget cuts introduced by his government are meant to improve the country’s weak economy. Ramatallah blamed last year's separation of South Sudan from Sudan for the worsening economic crisis in his country.

But the opposition leader stressed that the aim of the protests is regime change in Sudan.

‘’We are committed to the demand, the national demand of the people to overthrow this government through an intifada, an uprising," Issa said.  "We are implementing a program that will lead us to intifada, and these demonstrations are just the beginning.’’

Leaders of the students and opposition parties said security forces have arrested more than 200 people. A handful of local reporters and at least one foreign journalist were also arrested in the latest crackdown on demonstrators. An Egyptian journalist who works for Bloomberg and Al Ahram newspaper was arrested and released eight hours later.

Farruk Abu Issa said the arrests will not deter the protestors from pushing forward with their demand for regime change. He said any further arrests of opposition figures and student leaders will only encourage more protests.

The government of Sudan has said the protests are staged by people trying to create anarchy in the country.  The Ministry of Information has censored publication of reports on the streets protests. Newspapers have been carrying reports on the events unfolding in the Sudanese capital.

Listen to John Tanza intrvw w-Alsanosi Ahmed
Listen to John Tanza intrvw w-Alsanosi Ahmedi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs