Protests rock Sudan, South Sudan…

Six people were injured Dec. 9 as Sudanese police used tear-gas against hundreds of student protesters near the University of Khartoum. The protesters—who chanted the iconic Arab Spring slogan “The people want to overthrow the regime”—were marching to demand justice in the case of four students from the Darfur region who were found drowned in a canal near the campus of Gezira University, south of the capital, on Dec. 7, after they had participated in protests against tuition hikes. The Khartoum protesters marched through the city center, chanting “Killing a student is killing a nation.”

The protests mark a resurgence of student unrest earlier this year both in Khartoum and in Darfur. In 1964, the death of student activist Ahmed al-Qureshi sparked Sudan’s “October Revolution” which toppled the military regime then in power after tens of thousands flooded the streets. (Reuters, al-Arabiya, AFP, Dec. 9)

In South Sudan, the army fired on protesters over the weekend, killing 10 people in Wau, capital of West Bahr el-Ghazal state. (See map.) SPLA troops were ordered in to dismantle roadblocks set up in a dispute about the location of an administrative headquarters. The UN called the SPLA’s actions an “excessive use of force,” and demanded an investigation. (Sudan Tribune, Dec. 9)

Meanwhile, the announced deal restoring South Sudan’s access to Khartoum’s oil pipelines for export of crude remains stalled by disputes over border security. South Sudan’s information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said: “In our view, Khartoum is not serious about the peace process… No action has been taken to show their commitment. Instead, they have resorted to bombing our territory.” Khartoum, in turn, accuses South Sudan of allowing separatist rebels in Sudan’s South Kordofan state to use its territory as a staging ground. (WSJ, Nov. 26)