Members of the newly established committee for the protection of Darfuri students plan to request all universities to guarantee their safety and academic freedom, against the backdrop of the violence that took place between students in Khartoum last week.
The committee was established at the premises of the Sudanese Communist Party in Khartoum on Monday morning, and plans to monitor and stop the violations against students from Darfur by students who are members of the National Islamist Students Movement – the student wing of Sudan’s ruling Sudanese NCP.
The group, including activists, lawyers and medical workers, said that the acts of the members of this student wing are “threatening the fabric of Sudanese society, unity and peace” in the country.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Siddig Yousef, senior member of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), explained that the committee’s first step is to contact the administrations of all universities in the hopes that the institutions do not close, and “enable the students to safely exercise their academic freedom.
“Our next step is to meet with the security service in order to release all the students who were detained during the incidents at the universities.”
“No Darfuri student will be dismissed from university or be denied sitting for exams […] under the pretext of failing to pay the tuition fees; this is the responsibility of the Darfur Regional Authority,” Yousef pointed to the peace agreements signed in Abuja and Doha, which exempt students from Darfur from paying for their studies in Sudan.
The opposition figure added that the protection committee will push the administrations to not allow security forces or militias enter the campus.
The second step, the SCP official continued, is requesting a meeting with the security service in order to release all the students who were detained during the incidents at the universities, and to drop all complaints filed against them.
Another member of the protection committee for the students, Dr Aisha El Karib, said: “What happened in the last period […] is a very clear targeting of Darfuri students anywhere.” The executive director of the Sudanese Organisation for Research and Development (SORD) stressed in an interview with the radio station that the incidents show the government’s discriminatory policy of racism.
Faisal Mohamed Saleh, a journalist, writer and director of Teiba Barass for information services, joined in Kareb’s statement. The attacks on students last week “continued far to the students’ homes and dormitories, and were focused on their Darfuri identities or involvement with the Darfur Students Association.”
Saleh told Radio Dabanga that the protection committee will expand to include academics, religious figures, and social leaders, regardless of their political affiliation or party.
A student of the NCP student wing was killed, and dozens of others wounded in clashes at Sharg El Nil University last Wednesday. Reportedly about 150 militant students attacked a number of Darfuri students, members of the Darfur Students Association. They were reportedly backed by university guards. A student explained that seven students were seriously wounded, and others were detained. Sharg El Nil was raided again on Thursday, he said. At El Ahliya University in Omdurman, students were beatend and detained on Thursday too.