A number of Darfuri students at the Holy Koran University in Omdurman were injured today when policemen and security troops, accompanied by militant students of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) raided the campus.
The students had organised a sit-in on the campus in protest against the university’s decision not to exempt new Darfuri students from tuition and exam fees, one of the protesting students told Radio Dabanga.
The forces used batons, hoses, and tear gas to disperse the sit-in, causing various injuries to a number of students. About 40 students were held and taken to police stations in Omdurman.
The student said that they have demanded from the university’s management to register the new Darfuri students as other universities in Khartoum did, like El Zaeem El Azhari University, and the University of Khartoum.
Among the wounded students are Hassan Arbab, the secretary-general of the Holy Koran University branch of the Darfur Students Association, Jalaleldin Muhamed Abdelmajeed, the Association’s foreign relations officer, Musab El Amoudi, the Association’s financial secretary, Muawia Adam Mohamedein, the Association’s former social secretary, Mohamed Ibrahim, Mohamed Adam Omar, Abdelhakim Abdallah Mahmoud, Nasreldin Abdelkarim, Nawfal Mohamed Saleh, Mahjoub Mohamed Abdelrahman, Moaz Siddig, Barima Mohamed Adam, Sarajeldin Yahya, Adel Adam Abdelrahman, and Yousef Adam.
On 13 October, when Darfuri students of the Holy Koran University were holding a similar sit-in, a number of them were injured, six of them seriously, in a raid by police and security forces, backed by militant NCP student members. Eight students were detained.
In accordance with the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, Darfuri students are exempt from tuition and exam fees. The stipulation in the peace document was later enforced in an agreement between the Darfur Regional Authority and the federal Ministry of Higher Education. Nevertheless, several Sudanese universities have refused or evicted Darfuri students because they could not afford to pay the fees. Last year, students from the war-torn western region were also increasingly subject to discrimination, assaults, and detentions.