CAIRO (AP) — A Sudanese Cabinet minister says recent protests there against austerity measures are not comparable to last year's popular Mideast uprisings.
Tourism Minister Hassabo Abdel-Rahman described the protests as "normal." He was speaking to reporters during a visit to Cairo on Thursday.
"There is no Arab Spring in Sudan," he said, adding that he doubts that Sudanese will be inspired by the revolts in neighboring Egypt and Libya.
Demonstrations erupted when subsidy cuts increased the cost of public transportation and doubled the price of fuel and food. The demonstrators have also called for an end to President Omar al-Bashir's 23-year reign.
Although the protests have been relatively small scale, Sudanese police have responded with a swift crackdown, detaining activists and journalists and breaking up rallies with tear gas.