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Several hurt as Sudan police disperse protest in Darfur

August 1, 2012

KHARTOUM: Sudanese police used teargas and batons to disperse more than 1,000 people protesting fuel price rises in the city of Nyala in the Darfur region yesterday, wounding several, witnesses and activists said.

The opposition Umma Party published a list of four people it said had been killed in the protests. That could not be independently verified and there was no immediate comment from the authorities.

Protesters threw rocks at police, burned tires and chanted “No, no to high prices” and “The people want to change the regime”, the witnesses said.

One witness said he saw around 15 injured people being treated in hospital.

Last month, the government announced austerity measures, including cuts to fuel subsidies which provoked a spate of small anti-government demonstrations.

The protests mostly petered out after a security crackdown and the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan when most people stay indoors until sunset, but yesterday demonstrators took to the streets in Nyala, Darfur’s largest city.

Darfur has been the site of an insurgency since rebels took up arms there in 2003, complaining the central government had neglected the remote region.

Violence has since subsided from its peak, but law and order have collapsed in many parts of the vast territory, and clashes have continued to erupt between rebels and government forces.

Sudan has been in an economic crisis since South Sudan seceded a year ago, taking with it most of the crude oil production – the lifeblood of both economies.

The loss of oil revenues left Sudan with a large budget gap and rising prices for food and other goods, many of which are imported.



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