Graduated Darfuri students deprived of certificates

More than 600 graduated Darfuri students at the University of Sudan are victims of a financial matter between the university’s administration and the Finance Ministry.

Hundreds of students from Darfur who graduated from the University of Sudan in Khartoum have been waiting for their certificates for over half a year. The administration of the university suspended their graduation certificates, arguing that the Ministry of Finance has not come up with a payment for the students.

Darfuri students are exempted from tuition and exam fees by the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. Now, the University of Sudan claims that more than SDG 2 million ($331,134) has not been paid by the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with this agreement.

The head of the Darfur Students Association, Kamal El Zein, said that more than 600 Darfuri students at the University of Sudan have not received their graduation certificates for more than six months now. He accused the university of “exercising racism and discrimination against the Darfuri students”, and told Radio Dabanga that the university's decision is “unfair and causing great harm to victimised students.

“All the Sudanese universities have awarded Darfuri students of the same batch their graduation certificates,” El Zein stressed. He added that the administration should settle this with the Ministry of Finance rather than harming the students.

El Zein appealed to the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) to take up its responsibilities and intervene to solve the problem at the University of Sudan.

The stipulation in the Doha peace document was later enforced in an agreement between the DRA 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. Darfuri students at the Bahri University in Khartoum were dismissed in November last year.