Sudanese safety forces have arrested a high opposition chief following a crackdown on new anti-government demonstrations held in a number of cities on Friday. 

The protests had been the most recent in a wave of demonstrations that started throughout a lot of Sudan on December 19 – first in opposition to an increase in costs however later in opposition to the federal government of President Omar al-Bashir, in energy since a 1989 navy coup.

The demonstrations coincide with worsening financial woes that noticed a foreign money devaluation, gasoline shortages and a steep rise within the worth of bread, a principal fare for many Sudanese.

The opposition Sudanese Congress Occasion mentioned that a number of hours after protests started in Omdurman on the west financial institution of the Nile on Friday, its chief, Omar el-Digeir, was arrested by safety forces.

“He has been taken to an unknown location,” the occasion mentioned in a press release.

The Sudanese Writers’ Affiliation mentioned that well-known poet, Mohamed Taha, had additionally been arrested on Tuesday after he participated in a protest in Khartoum, the capital.

“We do not know his whereabouts,” the affiliation mentioned.

The Sudanese journalists’ community mentioned that two scribes had been additionally detained.

As many as 19 individuals have been killed to this point within the crackdown on protesters, the federal government mentioned, however Amnesty Worldwide put the demise toll at 37 since December 19.

The United Nations on Friday referred to as on the authorities in Sudan to analyze the deaths.

Police on Friday fired tear gasoline at lots of of worshippers who staged demonstrations within the railway metropolis of Atbara north of Khartoum, Obeid within the western North Kordofan province, and Senar and Wad Madani south of the capital.

Pictures posted by activists on social media confirmed thick plumes of smoke rising from some neighbourhoods in Khartoum as protesters burned garbage and tyres.

In Omdurman, crowds of worshippers chanted “Freedom, Peace, Justice” as they poured out of a mosque belonging to principal opposition Nationwide Umma Occasion, a witness mentioned.

However they had been shortly confronted by anti-riot police, the witness added.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, mentioned the demonstrations in opposition to the worth rise are morphing right into a nationwide motion in opposition to the federal government.

“It isn’t solely these protests that folks have been finishing up to attempt to voice their calls for, a few of them have additionally been on strike, medical doctors have introduced that they will go on a strike till the federal government steps down.

“Many journalists are additionally marching in solidarity of those that had been harassed and arrested whereas overlaying the protests, in addition they mentioned they may go on a nationwide strike in opposition to the federal government,” Hiba mentioned.

A gaggle of opposition events met late on Thursday and agreed to “push for extra protests” within the coming days, the Sudanese Communist Occasion mentioned in a press release.

It isn’t the primary time Bashir has confronted protests in opposition to his rule. There have been demonstrations in January over the identical points, with police utilizing tear gasoline to disperse lots of of protesters in Khartoum. Comparable protests had been held in Sudan in late 2016 after the federal government reduce gasoline subsidies.

The oil-rich nation’s economic system was badly affected when it break up with South Sudan in 2011 and the federal government can be battling a number of insurgent teams.

Is it Sudan’s model of the Arab Spring? (24:20)

Al Jazeera and information businesses


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