Leading Sudanese opposition groups today called for a three-day nationwide strike against fuel subsidy cuts even as security forces cracked down on activists in a bid to quell sporadic protests.
The authorities announced a 30-per cent hike in petrol and diesel prices this month that has led to a stiff rise in the cost of other goods, including medicines.
Since then groups of protesters have staged rallies in Khartoum and some other towns, which have been swiftly dispersed by anti-riot police.
A previous round of fuel subsidy cuts in 2013 sparked serious unrest that was only suppressed with a deadly crackdown that drew international condemnation.
The government is determined to avoid any repetition and has rounded up more than a dozen opposition leaders over the past few weeks to prevent widespread protests.
Several protesters including women have also been put on trial for staging rallies in the capital.
Despite these arrests, leading opposition groups and activists today called for a three-day strike starting tomorrow.
"I'm calling on the Sudanese people to start demonstrating and launch a three-day strike for overthrowing this regime," Sadiq al-Mahdi, head of the opposition Umma Party, one of Sudan's oldest political institutions, said in a statement.
The opposition Sudanese Congress Party gave its support to the strike, saying "the call was a result of a movement that started years ago to overthrow this regime".
"We support this struggle of the Sudanese people against the regime," said the leftist National Consensus Forces alliance in a statement.
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