Students clashed with police in Khartoum on Jan. 30 as youths answered calls to take to the streets for a day of anti-government protests—despite a heavy security deployment in the Sudanese capital. Hundreds gathered outside the presidential palace, calling for the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir before they were dispersed by riot police. Slogans included, “We want change! No to the high price of goods! and “Revolution against the dictatorship!”
At the Islamic University of Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, some 1,000 demonstrators were blocked by riot police as they marched chanting slogans against the regime. “Ocampo, what you have said is right!” was one slogan—a reference to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who has accused al-Bashir of war crimes and genocide in Darfur. Clashes broke out, with the protesters hurling rocks at the police, who retaliated with teargas and batons. Student followers of the ruling National Congress Party joined the police in some of the clashes, witnesses said. Similar scenes were reported at other universities in Omdurman and Khartoum.
“This peaceful procession is organized by the youth of Sudan,” said Mubarak al-Fadl of the opposition Umma party. “What we have seen in Egypt has inspired the youth to move, and they have organized themselves through the Internet.” He said the demonstrations had the support of “all the opposition parties.” (Middle East Online, Jan. 30)