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Security agents detain students, politician in Khartoum

November 27 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Darfuri students during a sit-in at the Holy Koran University in Omdurman in protest against tuition fees, 13 October 2015 (RD)
Darfuri students during a sit-in at the Holy Koran University in Omdurman in protest against tuition fees, 13 October 2015 (RD)

The Darfur Students Association announced that several students were detained by security agents after protests in Khartoum last week. The spokesman for an opposition party was shortly detained on Wednesday because of his solidarity with the protesting students.

Twelve or thirteen students were reportedly detained by the security service, said the Association's Foreign Relations Secretary Fawzi Abdallah. The University of Sudan in Khartoum and the University of the Holy Koran in Omdurman have witnessed several clashes between Darfuri students and security forces backed by student supporters of Sudan's ruling party. Early October, all fights erupted against the backdrop of student sit-ins and speeches that demanded the exemption of tuition fees for Darfuri students.

Abdallah told Radio Dabanga that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has targeted Darfuri students starting the current academic year. He said that problems arose when students from the Darfur region demanded to be exempted from paying tuition fees, a clause stipulated in the Doha peace agreement on Darfur of 2011. Most university administration officials in Sudan refused to grant this exemption to the Darfuris.

At a meeting at the Sudanese Communist Party's headquarters on Wednesday, the assembly of students' associations denounced the repeated assaults and detentions of students in various universities. They told reporters that they are "unarmed students, without any connection to political parties or armed movements".

Students seized, suspended

Security agents seized and detained two members of the students' association, moments before their appearance in court in Wad Nubawi Court in Omdurman North on Monday. Fawzi Abdallah told Radio Dabanga that twelve Darfuri students from the Sudan University of Science and Technology and Omdurman’s University of the Holy Koran and Islamic Sciences, have been wounded during the arrest.

Furthermore, nineteen students from the University of Zalingei are still suspended, without any explanation from the university or authorities. A protest against their suspension on 19 November escalated after members of the NISS arrived in vehicles, using violence to disperse the protesters. Some thirteen students were arrested that day for torching a university building.

Security detains opposition members

Mohamed Ziaeldin, the spokesman for the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and member of an alliance of Sudanese opposition parties (NCF), said that they support the Darfuri students. He said that the students from Darfur have legitimate rights to be exempted for tuition fees.

Ziaeldin told Radio Dabanga that the security service took him by force in Khartoum on Wednesdayand transferred him to the headquarters, where lawyers were assigned to him, before being released later. 

Four other members of the NCF were also detained on Wednesday evening, according to Ziaeldin related to their activities in a committee against the construction of dams in Sudan's Northern state. He said that the security service told the four detainees during the interrogation that the issue of the dams is a "red line" that they are not allowed to cross.  

In a press statement, the NCF condemned the arrests of its members, describing it as "a barbaric approach" by the regime to dealing with problems in the country.


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