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Students torch Khartoum University mosque

May 10 - 2016 KHARTOUM / KOSTI
On 11 April 2016, a number of Khartoum University student protesters threw rocks at the police forces, which later used teargas to disperse them (RD)
On 11 April 2016, a number of Khartoum University student protesters threw rocks at the police forces, which later used teargas to disperse them (RD)

Unrest at the University of Khartoum continued at the weekend as students torched a building where others were staying after they were forced to move out their dormitories. Protesting students in White Nile state were dispersed by police and security agents.

On Sunday evening, student supporters of Sudan's ruling party burned the mosque of the Faculty of Education in the university in Omdurman. The property of students who were staying there after expulsion from the university's boarding houses was destroyed.

A witness told Radio Dabanga that the attacking students were backed by security agents, and beat the other students with sticks and machetes.

“The security service continued to lay siege on the buildings of the Faculty of Education until Monday morning,” the witness said, adding that the university administration has decided to close the faculty indefinitely.

The University of Khartoum has been the scene of widespread student unrest for several weeks, and classes have been suspended. One of the main student grievances is a decision by the university administration to sell-off faculty buildings and move university facilities to the outskirts of Khartoum ‘to make way for tourist attractions’.

Arrests

Mohamed El Tayeb El Gurashi is the father of one of the students who has been dismissed by the University of Khartoum and is now detained with eight other students. From the office of lawyer Nabil Adeeb’s in Khartoum, he told Radio Dabanga that he holds the President and Chancellor of the University of Khartoum responsible for the students' safety.

“The arrest and dismissal of students is illegal,” El Gurashi said, demanding the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to immediately release them. “All liberal students, political, civil and legal organisations have to put pressure on the regime in order to release them.”

Last week, Nabil Adeeb's office was raided by NISS agents, who arrested several students who were suspended from Khartoum University as they consulted with their lawyer. The NISS has stressed that it “will not allow the transfer of conflict and violence to the capital Khartoum”.

Two students were killed in separate incidents in April, at Omdurman's Ahlia University and at the University of Kordofan, in which government security forces and armed students used live ammunition to break up protests at the university campuses.

White Nile

A student strike at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Imam El Mahdi in Kosti, White Nile state, resulted in the serious injury of five students and detention of dozens of others on Sunday.

A student at the faculty told Radio Dabanga that NISS and police forces entered the campus to confront student protesters with beatings and teargas, which caused the injuries to five students. They were transferred to the hospital.

Some 40 others were detained by the NISS, and released on Monday. The agents chased tudents to their boarding houses and detained a number of them, several protesters told this station.

They said that the protesters will continue their strike from studying until all their demands are met. Since the beginning of April, the students have been demanding amendments to the regulations prepared by the university administration earlier last year.


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