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Sudan sees Egypt-inspired protests in the North, jubilation on referendum in the South

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Pete Muller/AP Photo

(Read caption) Southern Sudanese celebrate the announcement of preliminary referendum results in the southern capital of Juba on Sunday, Jan. 30. Referendum officials indicated that nearly 99 percent of all voters cast ballots in favor of southern independence.

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Protesters in northern Sudan gained their first “martyr” late Sunday night when a student died in the hospital from injuries sustained in a police confrontation. The protests, which were inspired by neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, started Sunday. They came as South Sudan announced the near-unanimous results of its referendum vote on secession from the north.

Hundreds of young people in the country’s north were beaten by police with batons in the sporadic antigovernment protests. Armed police surrounded at least six universities today to prevent students from leaving the campuses, according to Reuters. Students in Khartoum University were tear gassed in their dormitories late Sunday, leaving at least five injured.

The news wire adds that students in north Sudan began clashing with police over rising food and petrol prices earlier this month, but protests have grown after demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt gained attention. Demonstrators have begun to call for regime change and widened their list of complaints to include corruption and the country’s practice of sentencing women to be lashed.

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