Charges filed against protesting students, North Darfur

Anti-election protests this week by university students in North Darfur’s capital result in the arrest of eighteen protesters, charged with undermining the constitutional order.

A total of eighteen students from the University of El Fasher in North Darfur were arrested after they went out in a protest against the election on Tuesday and Wednesday. The security service has filed criminal charges against the students, including ‘undermining the constitutional order’. It suspects peacekeepers of the Unamid of attempting to support the protest by providing "supplies and weapons".

The other charges against the eighteen students are ‘calling for opposition against the public authority by violence or force’ and ‘criminal damage’.

Meanwhile in Ed Damazin, the capital of Blue Nile state, security forces have detained five students who study in El Tadamon locality. A witness said that the names of three of the students are Ali Dafallah, Saleh Eisa, and Hussein Yousif.

State suspects Unamid of aiding protest

The North Darfur state yesterday accused the hybrid African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission, Unamid, of attempting to provide support for the protesting students. According to the official Radio El Fasher, a security official said they barred the peacekeepers for more than three times from entering the University of El Fasher. He claimed that the peacekeepers came with “supplies and weapons” to the protesters.

The local station further said that State Governor Osman Kibir summoned the head of the Unamid sector in North Darfur, Mohamed El Swaiffy, to explain the peacekeepers’ attempts to support the rioters. During a meeting on Thursday with state security committee members, Kibir pointed to the political character of the protest which he described as an internal matter. He rejected the behaviour of the peacekeepers, which lead him to believe that they are “accomplice” in the events at El Fasher University, according to Radio El Fasher in a report by Sudan Tribune.

Tear gas 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, students of the University of El Fasher gathered at the campus to stage a demonstration against the election and the incumbent regime. A student told Radio Dabanga that the security and police forces used "tear gas and live bullets" to disperse them. Two students were reportedly injured.

According to the student on Wednesday: “The security forces reinforced their presence in and around the premises of El Fasher University, and prevented us from reaching the campus. Yet, many students managed to enter the university anyhow.”

Photos of the protesting crowd in El Fasher and the use of tear gas: