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Darfuri students found dead, mass demonstrations in Khartoum

December 10 - 2012 KHARTOUM

Students of several universities took to the streets on Sunday, 9 December, denouncing the killing of four Darfuri students enrolled in El Gezira University. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that students from the universities of Khartoum, Sudan, and Wadi El Nil, El Ahlia, El Nilein, and Sennar universities participated in the demonstrations.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that protests broke out after the bodies of four Darfuri students were found in a canal in Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira. Darfuri students protested earlier in the week demanding to be exempted from tuition fees.

The students shouted slogans such as “No to tribalism and regionalism, Sudanese 100 percent” and “Killing a student is killing a nation”. Students from the University of Khartoum said that "the government tried to divide and plant racism among the people, but we are one and our cause is the same and we are all Sudanese belonging to the same country and we love every inch of it”. They called on the people of Sudan to take to the streets and overthrow the regime.

Additionally, a statement issued by the opposition holds the government responsible for the killing of four Darfuri students. The Popular Congress Party called on the chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr Tijani Sese, and the state Minister of Health to submit their resignation, "according to the demands of their people, and all the people of Sudan".

The demonstrators reached the heart of the El Soug El Arabi in central Khartoum. According to reports from students, police used excessive violence to disperse the  crowd.

'Horrible offense'

Also, the Sudanese Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedom demanded the formation of a committee to investigate the arrests, injuring and killing of Darfuri students and to bring the perpetrators to trial. 

The organisation described the incident as a 'horrible offense' and its general coordinator, Dr Faroug Ibrahim, said that Darfuri students are systematically targeted by Sudanese universities and treated 'unfair'.

Faroug said that the violations of the rights of the people of Darfur are not limited to displacement and killing, targeting of women, elderly and children, burning of villages in the region, but expanded to racist offenses in other cities including the capital Khartoum.

The National Umma Party described the killing of the students as an ‘appalling crime that makes you shiver’ and an ‘unimaginable violation of human rights and dignity’. The party said in a statement that what happened at the University of El Gezira is yet another crime to be added up to the crimes committed by the regime’.

'Two students injured in clashes'

Students from El Nilein University demonstrated on Saturday but security services and university guards intervened and dispersed the protesters. Two students were reportedly injured in the clashes between students and the security services and taken to a hospital in Khartoum for treatment.

Students told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus arrested Israa, daughter of late Dr Khalil Ibrahim, founder of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), together with around 25 others students.

On the same day demonstrations were organised in the neighbourhood of Khartoum 2. A number of people were arrested, including Ghazi and Rihan El Rayah, Khalid Salak, Ahmed Elias, Lamya Sharafi, and Wisal Babakar.

Darfur armed movements, Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid El Nur and SLM-Mini Minnawi and JEM, issued statements condemning the murder of the four students.

Funerals

The Council of Deans of the University of El Gezira decided on Saturday to suspend the classes for an indefinite period. On the same day, the funerals of two of the students were followed by a demonstration in the evening in Wad Madani.

The security forces used teargas to disperse the crowd. They arrested two lawyers, Mohamed Zein and Majdi Salim on Sunday.

Minister of Justice, Mohamed Dosa, announced the formation of a committee to investigate the events. He added that the committee is led by Dr Tijani Ahmed.

For its part, the Liberation and Justice Movement condemned the murder of the students. The movement’s spokesman, Ahmed Fadel, told Radio Dabanga that the movement condemns what has happened and demands an independent investigation.  

Related: Darfuri students assaulted in Khartoum (5 December 2012)


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