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Sudan Police Crack Down on Protest Over Agriculture Payments

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Sudanese police used tear gas and batons to disperse hundreds of protesters yesterday in al-Jazirah state, the country’s agricultural heartland, witnesses said.

Security forces clashed with about 600 demonstrators protesting against the Gezira Scheme, a vast farming project between the Blue and White Nile, over the last two days, Mohamed Wad Hussein, 21, said by phone today.

The protesters say the government has failed for decades to meet a promise to pay the farmers rent in return for the share it took of crops including wheat, sorghum and cotton since the project started in 1925.

Police have made some arrests and contained the unrest, according to a statement by the government of the state published on the official SUNA news agency today. The government blamed the unrest on the decline of some basic services during the recent Muslim holiday, it added.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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