Sudan Arrests 16 University Professors Over Planned Protest

(Bloomberg) -- Sudanese authorities arrested 16 Khartoum University professors on Tuesday as they allegedly planned to join protests against the government’s inability to address deteriorating economic conditions.

The instructors were taken “as they organized a sit-in,” The Association of Sudan University Teachers said in a statement. The group is part of the Sudanese Professionals Association, which with mostly secretive membership, has been a force among those calling for President Omar al-Bashir to resign.

Unrest that began December in Africa’s third-biggest country by area and has claimed dozens of lives is the most serious threat to al-Bashir’s rule since he seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989. Its causes include an economic crisis that’s hitting the middle classes and the poor alike with fuel, wheat and cash shortages contributing to inflation reaching 70 percent.

On Tuesday, the oil ministry released a statement calling on all vehicle owners to register at filling stations near them, as the government plans to introduce a system that tracks users and clamps down on the black market. It’s an indication of how serious the shortages may have become, with the government reassuring the nation that it’s receiving fuel and wheat from the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Turkey.

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