19 June 2012

Sudanese Police Drag Students From Classrooms After Days of Violent Protests

Scenes of police using tear gas to disperse protesting students who are demonstrating against government's austerity plan. ( Resource: Sudan Revolts Against Austerity Plan )

Khartoum — Students from the Ahlia University in Khartoum were driven out of their classrooms while some of them were making their exams.

It happened today (Tuesday) after a large number of security personnel, accompanied by students sympathetic towards the ruling party, entered the campus in pick-up trucks.

They entered the classrooms a day after large-scale protests broke out in Khartoum and Omdurman. The protests were against the austerity measures introduced by the government of president Omar al Bashir. Most of the protests started at universities in the Sudanese capital. The security forces were armed with guns and the pro-Bashir students were carrying machetes. After being chased from their classrooms, the students took to the street where a mass demonstration was simultaneously taking place. According to a student witness interviewed by Radio Dabanga, an unknown number of students were hurt including several who sustained serious injuries. Later on Tuesday the police dispersed the demonstration outside Ahlia University.

In downtown Khartoum, near Suq al Shabi, police stopped students from the Sudan University for Sciences and Technology from entering the protests. They were on Sahafa-street heading towards the city centre when the police used tear gas and whips to control the crowds.

It was the fourth day in a row of protests in which the students were demanding the downfall of the government and the removal of austerity measures, which include an increase in food and fuel prices. Police and security forces however broke up the demonstrations using tear gas and firing bullets into the air. The demonstrations over the past four days have led to at least tens of wounded. According to a student leader, the students are determined to keep up the pressure on the government.

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