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Sudan’s opposition takes action to protect students from Darfur

May 4 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Opposition forces meet in Khartoum to discuss protection of Darfuri students, 4 May 2015 (RD)
Opposition forces meet in Khartoum to discuss protection of Darfuri students, 4 May 2015 (RD)

The Sudanese opposition forces agreed to establish a committee for the protection of Darfuri students in Khartoum. Medical doctors will appoint three clinics in the capital where students from Darfur, injured during attacks by student members of the ruling party, can be treated. Members of the Darfur Bar Association, together with a number of other Sudanese lawyers, are ready to provide legal aid.

At a meeting this (Monday) morning at the premises of the Sudanese Communist Party in Khartoum II, the opposition forces decided to act in order to protect Darfur students in the capital against the violent campaign, launched by student members of the National Congress Party (NCP), since last week.

The students have been threatened after the head of the National Islamist Students Movement was killed during clashes at Sharg El Nil University in Khartoum last week. Faroug Abu Eisa, chairman of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties) told Radio Dabanga today that NCP students have been urged to evict all Darfuri students from the dormitories in the Sudanese capital “by force or by fire”.

Last Wednesday, some 150 militant students of the National Congress Party (NCP) stormed the Sharg El Nil campus. Backed by university guards, they molested members of the Darfur Students Association who were having a meeting. “They attacked us with metal bars, crutches, and machetes. Dozens of students were wounded, seven of them seriously,” a Darfuri student reported to Radio Dabanga. “One of the assailants, Mohamed Awad El Karim, Secretary-General of the National Islamist Students Movement [NCP student wing], was killed.” 

Yesterday, another student added that Darfuri students who sustained injuries during the attacks last week did not dare to go to a hospital for treatment. “As they fear the intervention of security agents, stationed at the hospitals, instead, they are being treated in the dormitories, or when they are lucky at their homes.”

‘Secession of Darfur’

Abu Eisa, who himself was released on 9 April after having been detained for four months, said that the participants of today’s meeting agreed to build “a bulwark of allied forces to protect the students and the people of Darfur against those ugly racist attacks”.  

“This popular body will be broader than the country’s opposition forces, as it will include members of Sufi orders, popular committees, trade unions, and women and youth groups, university managers and lecturers, medical doctors, journalists, artists, and sportsmen”.

The opposition leader told Radio Dabanga that what happened is not a conflict between students. “It is a systematic NCP action, be it planned beforehand or spontaneously, devoid of any human and religious value.” He urged President Omar Al Bashir, chairman of the NCP, to intervene and protect the Darfuri students against “the hate campaign”.

He further said that the “current wave of discriminatory violence against the Darfuris may lead to the secession of Darfur, as happened in 2011 with South Sudan”.

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