Nascent Arab Spring Protests Gather In Sudan: ‘Freedom, Peace, Justice And Revolution’

Arab Spring protests so far have toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, led to a government-toppling civil war in Libya, and what looks to become a protracted civil war in Syria where the dictatorial regime remains, by most accounts, firmly entrenched, for now at least.

Now the Arab Spring protests, more than a year and a half after their inception, are hitting another North African country: Sudan. Student demonstrations against Omar Al-Bashir’s government have been bubbling up over the past couple weeks. Activists called for protests on Friday, which so far appear to have drawn hundreds to various towns across the country, according to a map of reported demonstrations posted by The Atlantic.

The protests — referred to in Sudan as “elbow licking,” after a colloquial phrase for doing the impossible adopted by the government — were set off by student objections to austerity measures imposed by the government. As the protests have grown over two weeks, reliable details have been more difficult to come by because of a government crackdown against journalists and bloggers.

Authorities ignored U.N. warnings against “heavy-handed suppression” and used tear gas to break up demonstrations near the capitol Khartoum and in eastern Sudan. The protesters chanted, “freedom, peace, justice and revolution is the choice of the people,” according to the BBC.