Police disperse protest in east Sudan - witnesses

Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:03pm GMT

* Sudan struggling with high inflation, weakening currency

* Activists want to use discontent to spark broader uprising

* President dismissed demonstrations as insignificant

KHARTOUM, June 25 (Reuters) - Sudanese police used teargas to disperse anti-government protesters in an impoverished eastern region on Monday, witnesses said, as demonstrations fueled by an economic crisis continued to break out outside the capital.

Small demonstrations have spread across the country for more than a week, provoked by government moves to cut spending, scale back fuel subsidies and take other austerity measures to plug a widening budget gap.

About 200 protesters gathered in the town of Gedaref, near the border with Eritrea, c hanting "No, no to high prices" and "the people want to overthrow the regime" on Monday, two witnesses told Reuters.

The police were not immediately available to comment.

The most widespread protests so far broke out on Friday in neighbourhoods across Khartoum and expanded beyond the core of student activists who had dominated them.

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Sunday dismissed the demonstrations as the work of a few agitators whose aims are not shared by the majority of Sudanese.   Continued...

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