It’s worth keeping an eye on the anti-government, anti-austerity protests that occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday in Darfur, Sudan:
Some 400 people gathered in the main market and two other areas of the western city of Nyala [on Wednesday] to protest against the government and rising inflation, but were dispersed by the baton-wielding police, a journalist and witness said.
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.
A wave of anti-austerity protests began in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere in mid-June. These protests in Darfur remind us that people are dissatisfied with the economic situation in various parts of the country, not just at the center. The protests are also a reminder that not all politics in Darfur revolve around rebel movements – though government officials have accused rebel groups of stirring up these protests. I was surprised to learn that Nyala has an estimated population of 500,000, a population is certainly large enough to support a movement of dissent.
In what may be an unrelated incident, a local government official and his driver were shot by unknown gunmen this week in Kutum, Darfur (map). Two similar incidents have occurred in recent months, with gunmen seizing land cruisers (Arabic).