Police wielding batons broke up demonstrations in central Sudan by high school and university protesting the imposition of new school fees and shortages in teachers, a newspaper reported Thursday.
It was the latest in a series of protests nationwide over the last three weeks, most of which have been blamed on opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, a former ally of President Omar Bashir.
A new English-language newspaper, the Khartoum Monitor, said high school students, joined by students from the University of West Kordofan, marched in the streets of An-Nahud town, forcing merchants to close their shops.
They were dispersed by police wielding batons, it added.
The daily quoted witnesses as saying many schools in the town end classes an hour before mid-day for lack of teachers.
In the capital Khartoum on Sunday, police used teargas and batons to quell an anti-government demonstration by hundreds of university students, witnesses said.
The students, who demanded freedom and democracy, were reported to be supporters of Turabi's opposition People's National Congress.
Sudan has been ravaged by civil war between the north and the south for the last 17 years, and this month protests against military service and a lack of finances in the education sector have led to riots.
First Deputy President Ali Osmana Mohamed Taha accused the Popular National Congress of fomenting the unrest to delay presidential and parliamentary elections, the As-Sahafa daily said.
Elections are now scheduled for December 11-20 in the country's 26 regions – KHARTOUM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )