Sudan accused unnamed "Zionist institutions" on Sunday of fanning anti-government protests as it tries to snuff out disturbances which echo Arab Spring unrest elsewhere.I wonder if there is an inverse square law for accusations of "Zionism" as they go further away from Israel. When they are hurled by Israel's neighbors, they seem to be taken much more seriously by the people than when they are used by leaders of Muslim countries further away.
For two weeks, anti-austerity protesters have been calling for the resignation of the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, one of Africa's longest serving leaders.
"Zionist institutions inside the United States and elsewhere... are exploiting the latest economic decisions to destabilize the security and political situation," the state-linked Sudanese Media Centre quoted presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie as saying.
Nafie said the government had evidence of collusion between rebel groups in Darfur, politicians in arch-foe South Sudan and Zionist institutions in the United States to sabotage Sudan. He did not present the evidence.
Police used teargas to put down protests in Khartoum on Friday.
The Sudanese Commission for Defence of Freedoms and Rights estimated on Sunday that 1,000 people had been arrested since the protests began.
Demonstrators have chanted the widespread Arab Spring refrain: "The people want the downfall of the regime".
(I include Iran in this; I don't think the Iranians are nearly as gullible to the constant cries of "Zionism" as their government thinks.)