Sudanese protesting in Khartoum yesterday were attacked and arrested by hundreds of riot police as they chanted "We are ready to die for Sudan," and "Revolution, revolution until victory". The police surrounded the entrances of four universities in the capital, firing teargas and beating students at three of them.
Youth For Change had called for a demonstration on Sunday, January 30 from 11:00am - 2:00pm. Their facebook page attracted 16,864 followers to "Attending the Peace Process in Khartoum, Sudan" and said, "The people of Sudan will not remain silent any more. It is about time we demand our rights and take what's ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage. We will come out to protest the high cost of living, corruption, nepotism, unemployment and all the practices of the regime, including striking women... that are contrary to the most basic laws of Islam and humanity, and violate the rights of minorities. We will go out to prove to the whole world that the people... will not remain silent in the face of persistent injustice and humiliation.
But Al Jazeera reports
Pro-government newspapers carried front page warnings against protests which they said would cause chaos and turmoil.
The Sudan Vision daily's editorial blamed the opposition.
"Our message to those opposition dinosaurs is to unite their ideas and objectives for the benefit of the citizens if they are really looking for the welfare of the Sudanese people," it read.
The pro-democracy group Girifna ("We're fed up") said nine members were detained the night before the protest and opposition party officials listed almost 40 names of protesters arrested on Sunday. Five were injured, they added.
Sudan, which was united with Egypt under British colonial rule, was the last Arab country to change a government with protests before Tunisia, when Jaafar Nimeiri was removed from the presidency in 1985. While Khartoum was protesting, the south was celebrating the first official results of a referendum on dividing the country. The south, which holds the country's oil reserves, voted 99.57% for secession to end the five decades of conflict between the north and south.