At least 14 students were injured, three of them seriously, in an attack carried out by Islamist students with knives and metal bars on a student sit-in at the University of the Holy Koran in Omdurman on Wednesday morning.
The attack, backed by 25 anti-riot security police vehicles, was carried out to break a peaceful sit-in by university students to protest poor services and the deteriorating university environment.
Student Hamid Rahmatallah, a spokesman for the University of the Holy Koran forum told Radio Dabanga: “Police used tear gas intensively while deploying Islamist student militias and mujahedeen who were brought-in from other universities in Khartoum. They used the machetes and metal bars to beat the students and forcibly evict them from the university”.
He said that three students were in serious condition, including Ali Kharif who was stabbed. They were taken to the emergency section of Omdurman hospital.
He said that there were arrests among the students buy could not yet quote an accurate number.
Rahmatallah described the situation as dangerous and stressed. “The students’ adhere to their demands by continuing their peaceful sit-ins as a guaranteed right for the university students to meet all the demands made in a memorandum earlier to the Dean of Student Affairs who ignored them which prompted the students to stage a sit-in on Monday.”
He explained to Radio Dabanga that the demands of the students are provision of services including drinking water, fans and loudspeakers in the large halls, extending the opening time of the library from 8 am to 5 pm and improving the environment and the lavatories.
Last month, police and security services surrounded the main campus of the University of the Holy Koran in an attempt to block a street protest after students raised a memorandum to the administration of the university.
The students threatened to take the protest to the street in the event that the administration did not respond to their memorandum. Other students reportedly took-up arms, such as machetes, and threatened to use violence against the protesting students in El Thora, where the campus is based.