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A strong wave of student-led anti-government sentiments began to reverberate through facebook throughout the past few days as Sudanese youth mobilized their peers in participating in demonstrations against the current government. Given the recent events in Tunisia and then Egypt and Yemen, young Sudanese across the country and abroad called for peaceful protests on Jan 30. Prior to the planned protests, roughly 12,000 people confirmed their participation. The official website stated:

The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore, 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 demonstrate against the rising of the prices, the corruption, unemployment and all false practices of the government such as violence against women and lashing them in ways that breaks all laws of religions and humanity and the violation of minorities rights.
It is about time we use our god given voice to demonstrate against an injustice government that is willing to sacrifice its people and its land to remain on the higher power.
it is about time we show what we’re really made of, it is about time we restore or lost honor, it is about time we fight for our god given rights.
our brothers in Tunisia did it and so did our brothers in Egypt.
It is about time for us.

* picture from Aljazeera

The pro-government newspapers were quick to denounce this “charade”. Prior to the planned protests several anti-government activists were detained and late last night cars were stopped and searched by police forces.

Early on today reports indicated that several student demonstrators were arrested. As the size of the demonstrations grew, police stepped up the violence, including the use of teargas to disband the protests. Videos of protestors were posted on youtube. Despite a respectable number of protestors, it is still unclear the impact these demonstrations had on the destabilizing the current regime.  Organizers seem persistent and are calling for similar protests tomorrow afternoon. In addition to the protests that took place in Khartoum, students across other cities such as ElObied stormed the central markets.

I hope that these demonstrations send a strong message to those in government. The Sudanese people have overthrown 2 previous regimes through popular uprisings. Although this government has done its very best to silence unions, universities and all institutions that have previously spoke on behalf of the people. Growing frustration among many Sudanese, could be a  catalyst to reignite the fervor that has always been in Sudanese blood to stand up for their rights….to speak up and for their voices to be heard.

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