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Sudanese Police Fire Tear Gas on Fourth Day of Protests

Sudanese police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse about 200 students from the Sudan Banking Academy, as protests against government austerity measures entered their fourth day in Khartoum, the capital.

“Khartoum rise up rise up, we won’t be ruled by a thief,” chanted the protestors, some of whom threw rocks at riot police.

“We’re here to protest the price hikes, the removal of fuel subsidies and the rise in transportation fares,” Ahmed Mahmoud, a third-year student at the banking school, said during the demonstration. “We’re fed up with this government. Enough, they should go.”

Sudan’s parliament yesterday approved austerity measures to stabilize the economy following the loss of three-quarters of the country’s oil production when South Sudan seceded in July. The decline in income resulted in a $2.4 billion budget deficit and a surge in inflation to 30.4 percent last month.

Security forces also dispersed 500 students at Khartoum University, using tear gas and batons, Wafaa Mohamed, a second-year medicine student, said by phone.

The measures approved include devaluing the Sudanese pound to 4.4 a dollar from 2.7 now and cutting the size of the national and regional governments by as much as 56 percent. Import taxes, value-added taxes and income tax on banks will also be raised, President Umar al-Bashir said on June 18.

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