Bahri University students were barred from entering the campus in Khartoum on Monday, leading to a riot in which police detained at least twenty students. 40 women students have been suspended from the University of Kordofan.
The university administration issued a decision to ban students who have not paid their registration fees. A student told Radio Dabanga that a large number of students, mostly from Darfur, were surprised on Monday morning when they were prevented from entering the campus. They heard that they were not allowed inside on the pretext that they have not been registered for non-payment of the tuition fees yet.
“The students started to gather at the university's gate and cheer slogans against the decision. Police forces, stationed in front of Bahri, intervened. They beat and chased the students until Kadaro and arrested at least 20,” he said.
Exemption from tuition fees for students from Darfur was one of the conditions of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. Students from Darfur, who have been impoverished by years of conflict, could then afford an opportunity to study. However, the measure has been met with resistance at universities thoughout Sudan and Darfuri students regularly protest the non-implementation or delays regarding the measure.
The administrators of Bahri University dismissed two students and suspended two others for speaking out against the administration in December.
'The government pursues a policy of dismissing students who demand the cancellation of fees.' – Students association
40 students suspended
On Sunday, several associations of Darfuri students announced that the names of 40 women from Darfur were removed from the student registry list of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Kordofan, in El Obeid. The reason is that the 40 students were unable to pay the tuition fees, according to the student associations.
At a press conference in Omdurman, at the premises of the National Umma Party, the representatives of the associations said that students have recently been suspended for the same reason from the universities El Zaim El Azhari, Holy Quran, and others.
“The government pursues a policy of dismissing students who demand the cancellation of fees, after it failed to suppress the students’ protests by arbitrary arrests and assassinations,” a student told journalists.
On Sunday, the University of Bahri also issued a decree and banned five students from entering the campus until they cooperate with an investigation committee. Mutasim Hamid Ibrahim, Hassan Tijani, Hussein Adam, Sadig Abdeljabbar and Mustafa Osman reportedly participated in a gathering of student supporters of the rebel SLM-Minni Minawi at the campus.
Yesterday a student told Radio Dabanga that the decision came a day after the SLM students addressed a crowd at the university, which was disrupted by student supporters of the ruling National Congress Party.