KHARTOUM - Sudanese police used tear gas and batons on Wednesday to stop protests in Darfur's biggest city Nyala against the government and its austerity program, a day after eight protesters were killed in the worst violence since June, witnesses said.
Sudan has avoided "Arab spring" uprisings like those in Egypt and Syria, but tough austerity measures, including cuts in fuel subsidies, have provoked small protests against the 23-year rule of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.Some 400 people gathered in the main market and two other areas of the western city of Nyala to protest against the government and rising inflation, but were dispersed by the baton-wielding police, a journalist and witness said.
"Today there is a heavy security presence all over the town," one resident said, adding that authorities had shut down all schools.
More than 1,000 demonstrators clashed with police in Nyala on Tuesday, according to witnesses. Activists published a list of 12 people they said had been killed in Tuesday's clashes, countering the official death toll of eight.