KHARTOUM, Oct 12, 2011 (Sudan Tribune – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — The Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday experienced massive protests prompted by lack of public transport, leading to rare acts of vandalism and heavy deployment by police forces, eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune.
Public discontent over worsening economic conditions and the government’s perceived failures has recently given rise to increased dissent and concomitant protests in Sudan’s sprawling capital.
The wave of intermittent protests started in late September in the Burri area of eastern Khartoum and later spread to several parts of the capital. However, security and police forces managed to contain and prevent the protests from gaining momentum using their usual heavy-handed approach.
According to eye witnesses, the largest protest to date erupted on Tuesday in and around Jackson square — the epicenter of public transport in downtown Khartoum — after thousands of citizens found themselves without buses to take them home.
The witnesses stated that students of Sudan University for Science and Technology, whose western campus is close to Jakson Square, began to gather in the street and march towards Al-Inqaz Bridge which leads to Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.
The witnesses also said that the protesting students and citizens were chanting anti-government slogans and clogged traffic on the bridge for several hours.
According to the witnesses, the protestors burned a car on the bridge and later attempted to burn an office of the national electricity corporation but police forces repelled them. The protestors were also shattering windscreen of cars, the witnesses added.
Meanwhile, anti-riot police units deployed heavily on all roads leading to the center of the tripartite metropolis as thousands of citizens had to go back home on foot.