June 20, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The wave of anti-government demonstrations in Sudan has entered fourth day amid reports of concomitant police violence and arrests.
Eye-witnesses told Sudan Tribune that fresh clashes erupted on Wednesday between protesting students and anti-riot police units in and around the University of Khartoum (UoK), where the demonstrations originally started on Sunday.
According to the witnesses, police forces fired heavy teargas to disperse dozens of students protesting at the Banking Institute in downtown Khartoum and also raided the main campus of UoK, beating and arresting students.
Students said the police took some of their colleagues to unknown destination but the spokesman of police, Al-Sir Ahmad Omar, told Al-Jazzera that he needs more time to be able to confirm or deny these reports.
Similar protests occurred at Al-Ahlia University and other areas in Omdurman town including Al-Waha area where protesters burned car tires at night.
Another protest broke out in the evening around the headquarters of the opposition National Umma Party in Omdurman. Reports indicate that a great number of protesters were arrested by police and security forces.
The protest movement that was started mainly by students over rising costs of living appears to be gaining traction as it continues to occur in different parts of the country’s sprawling capital as well as in some regional towns.
The protests erupted ahead of plans by the government to end fuel subsidies as part of what officials say are drastic austerity measures needed to make up for a budget deficit of 2.4 billion USD, created mainly as a result of South Sudan’s secession.
Authorities maintain that the protests are “limited” and called on citizens not to be swayed by “anarchy-seekers.”
Anti-government groups, meanwhile, vowed to continue the protest movement until the government is toppled.
Mainstream opposition parties also vowed to oppose austerity measures.