Sun Dec 04 14:19:31 SAST 2016

26 Sudan protesters face trial over fuel demos

AFP | 2016-11-23 12:22:01.0
Protesters have staged small demonstrations over the past few days after the government hiked the prices of petrol and diesel by about 30 percent. File photo
Image by: Eldson Chagara / REUTERS

Eight people arrested in Sudan for allegedly protesting against a government decision to raise fuel prices went on trial in the capital on Tuesday.

They were among 26 suspected protesters including 12 women detained over the past two days after small rallies in Khartoum were swiftly dispersed by riot policemen.

An AFP correspondent in court cited prosecutors as saying that the remaining 18 defendants would appear in court over the next few days.

All 26 have been charged with disturbing the peace.

Protesters have staged small demonstrations over the past few days after the government hiked the prices of petrol and diesel by about 30 percent.

Several opposition politicians and activists have also been arrested for calling for anti-government demonstrations after the price rises.

The authorities are seeking to prevent a repeat of two months of protests in 2013 that resulted in a deadly crackdown that rights groups say killed 200 people.

The authorities said fewer than 100 people died in the unrest, triggered by similar fuel subsidy cuts.

The government has been forced to progressively cut fuel subsidies since 2011 when South Sudan seceded, taking with it nearly three-quarters of the formerly united country's oil reserves.

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