Mohandaseen, Cairo–A peaceful protest by as many as 2,000 Sudanese refugees quickly turned nasty here Wednesday, when the protestors started hurling rocks and other projectiles at the local office of the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR). That agency, which today is guarded by hundreds of troops in riot gear, controls the fate of the refugees, many of whom have fled conflicts in Sudan’s south, and in the Western Darfur region. (More on this in an upcoming Voice article.)
Demonstrations are normal in Cairo, but not riots, and especially not unplanned riots. A number of policeman were injured, and 22 protesters were arrested after the protest in this leafy Cairo neighborhood. As you can see, it was front-page news in the local Al-Ahram newspaper.