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Housing crisis of Darfuri women students in Khartoum not yet solved

July 2 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Omdurman Ahliya University (file photo)
Omdurman Ahliya University (file photo)

The housing crisis of Darfuri women students in Khartoum has not yet been addressed in a comprehensive manner, says the Darfur Students Association.

Saadia El Sheikh, senior member of the Association, told Radio Dabanga that despite the efforts of the National Committee for the Protection and Defence of Darfuri Students, established by Sudanese opposition forces, to help out with accommodation and tuition fees, a permanent solution has not been found so far.

She lauded the Sudanese Congress Party for hosting 38 women students at its headquarters in Khartoum. They were among the 70 Darfuri women students who were violently evicted from dormitories in the Sudanese capital in October last year. The activist also thanked other political parties, medical doctors, the members of the Darfur Bar Association and other lawyers for their support.

El Sheikh said that 16 other women students are accommodated in a private boarding house. “Darfuri associations abroad are paying their university fees and their costs of living.”

She called upon the Committee to “increase its efforts and find a permanent solution for the challenges facing all Darfuri students at the universities in Sudan, especially the women students”.


Earlier this week, human rights activist and lawyer Saleh Mahmoud reported to Radio Dabanga that the temporary solutions offered to the students by the opposition forces are much appreciated, “yet they are ineffective on the long term”.

He said that the Committee needs to expand its activities, and to contact the managements of the universities, and come to an agreement about the protection of Darfuri students and clear procedures regarding their exemption of university fees. 

Darfuri university students are exempted from tuition and exam fees, according to the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. The stipulation was later enforced in an agreement between the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) and the federal Ministry of Higher Education. Nevertheless, several Sudanese universities have refused to register or have evicted Darfuri students who were unable to pay the fees. 

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