Institute for War and Peace Reporting/allAfrica

Student-led demonstrations coupled with growing frustration among sections of Sudan’s broader population provide the strongest indications yet of a real push for regime change, analysts say.

But opposition forces are still a long way short of being the kind of organised, unified movement that could topple a government.

Now in their sixth day, the student protests began in the capital Khartoum on June 17 in anticipation of austerity measures that President Omar al Bashir’s government plans to put in place next week. The cuts include raising taxes, lifting fuel subsidies and cutting the number of government ministers, all in order to reduce the huge budget deficit.

Even before the measures come into force, the price of basic items like sugar, fruit, and public transport fares, have risen by as much as 50 per cent this week as fears grow about their impact.

As hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets, the security agencies banned three newspapers from publishing and detained local and international journalists.

Students have led a number of demonstrations against the government in recent months, but these have been crushed by the security services and never built up enough momentum to threaten the government. (See for example Police Get Tough on Student Protests.)

But there are signs that this time, things may not die down that easily.  Read more…