Sudan to unleash cyber jihadists

Women protesters in Sudan Mothers of protesters detained in January's protests take to the streets

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Sudan's ruling National Congress Party has warned that its "cyber jihadists" will "crush" internet-based dissent.

It follows an increase in anti-government campaigns organised on Facebook and Twitter.

Senior NCP official Mandur al-Mahdi warned opposition groups that its "cyber battalion" was leading "online defence operations".

The country has seen several anti-government street protests since January.

The government, which seized power in a military coup in 1989, is concerned about uprisings similar to those seen across the Middle East and North Africa.

It reacted violently to street protests organised by youth groups, detaining many activists.

In the run-up to the January protests, supporters of the NCP posted messages on the Facebook pages of dissidents, warning them against joining in.

So far the protests have failed to attract mass popularity.

Despite the NCP's threat, there is little evidence regarding the size or nature of the cyber battalion.

Oil-producing South Sudan is set to become independent of the north in July.

Its ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, recently accused President Omar al-Bashir of plotting to overthrow the southern government.

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