Unrest grows in Sudan, over 1000 demonstrations detained (39000)

July 2 (GIN) – A crackdown against an anti-government movement is heating up with the arrest of over 1,000 demonstrators in two weeks of protests, according to a local activist group.

Opposition factions, long divided, are said to be working on a document to guide the administration of the country if President Omar al Bashir is overthrown.

“We need to prevent chaos and a power vacuum once the regime falls, so that is why we are working on agreeing on a transitional phase,” Bashir Adam Rahma, the foreign relations secretary of the opposition Popular Congress, told Al Jazeera.

The Popular Congress is part of the National Forces Alliance, a coalition of opposition parties. The Alliance says it plans to throw its full weight behind the protest movement once it puts the final touches on the transitional phase document.

Recent austerity measures including a rise in prices prompted the outbreak of social unrest two weeks ago. Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud said the government had no choice but to cut fuel subsidies and spending to plug a public finance gap. President Bashir defended the new decisions, saying that the secession of South Sudan turned the country from an oil exporter to importer.

Meanwhile, a student group has posted a website that lists 16 “Demands of a Nation.” GIRIFNA, which means “We’re Fed Up,” also has a Facebook page. The page lists 32,900 friends.