Police held back protesters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum during demonstrations over the rising cost of living, witnesses said. The Sudan Tribune said police moved in Sunday with batons and tear gas as students from the University of Khartoum chanted against the government. Seven people were arrested. Similar protests were held in Shendi and Kassala. The opposition National Consensus Forces is driving the protest effort, calling for a campaign of sit-ins and civil disobedience against the government, the newspaper said. The protests come as the government prepares to end fuel subsidies as part of austerity measures aimed at filling a $2.4 billion budget gap. Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil production when South Sudan seceded last July. Inflation skyrocketed 30 percent in May. Food prices were hardest hit, the newspaper said.