Bashir says Sudan protests attempt to copy Arab Spring

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inspects an honour guard with his Sudan counterpart Omar al-Bashir upon his arrival at Cairo"s Airport, EgyptImage source, Reuters
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Mr Bashir, left, is visiting Egypt three days after some of the biggest protests in Sudan's history

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has said there are efforts to destabilise his country through an attempt to replicate the so-called Arab Spring.

He was speaking in Egypt's capital Cairo after meeting his counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

It is his second foreign trip since protests began in December.

The protests started over cuts to bread and fuel subsidies but have since morphed into anger at Mr Bashir's 30-year rule.

Protesters have been heard shouting: "The people want the fall of the regime".

The slogan is adopted from the Arab Spring - a wave of protests which started in 2010 and spread across the Middle East and North Africa and led to civil wars.

Eighteen days of protests forced Egypt's long-time leader Hosni Mubarak to resign in February 2011.

But any attempts to protest in Sudan at the time of the Arab uprisings were crushed, Reuters reported.

In his speech, President Bashir acknowledged there were problems in the country but said they were not as big as portrayed by the media.

Some foreign journalists have been prevented from reporting events in the country. This week journalists working for Al Jazeera, Turkey's Anadolu news agency and Saudi-based Al Arabiya TV have been denied accreditation.

On Thursday, three people were killed in what appeared to be the biggest demonstrations yet against Mr Bashir.

Image source, AFP
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Protest organisers say demonstrators gathered in at least 50 places across Sudan on Thursday

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has become the driving force behind the unrest, has called for more anti-government rallies.

Witnesses told AFP news agency that police stopped protesters from gathering in public squares in Khartoum and Omdurman on Sunday by filling them with muddy water.