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Sudan’s students demand free political activity on campus

April 4 - 2018 SUDAN
Students demonstrate in Sudan (File photo: RD)
Students demonstrate in Sudan (File photo: RD)

The United Popular Front and the other student organisations in Sudanese universities condemned President Omar Al Bashir's refusal to allow student organisations free political activity at universities claiming that they belong to the armed movements.

The United Popular Front, the student faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of the leadership of Abdelwahid (SPLM-AW) confirmed that it is “a peaceful student organisation that does not carry weapons and proceeds from a political project aimed at raising awareness of the Sudanese people to their political issues from the political platforms within the Sudanese universities, based on thought and knowledge rather than weapons”.

The spokesman for the Front told Radio Dabanga that “the Front did not ask for the permission of the regime when it was established in the Sudanese universities as a lawless, totalitarian and dictatorship regime”.

He stressed that the freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed to all, including the Front, not a grant and described Al Bashir's speech as contradictory.

He said “Al Bashir always says freedom of expression is guaranteed at a time when students are prevented from practicing their peaceful activities in their universities.”

He added that “the Front is continuing to carry out its activities because it derives its legitimacy from the people rather than from the regime”.

Students of the Sudanese universities said that Al Bashir’s speech about stopping student activity is “an extension of the regime's continued use of the security system to pursue active Sudanese students and Darfuri students in particular, especially those interested in political activity inside the Sudanese universities.”

Yesterday a student activist told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum that Al Bashir's speech revealed the intention to carry out a campaign of fresh pursuit of the Darfuri students and the confiscation of their freedoms represented in their right to express their views and positions and their right to peaceful assembly and organisation.

On Monday President Omar Al Bashir vowed in his speech to parliament not to allow student organisations at universities to be the hands of movements carrying arms.

He stressed in his speech that the government will impose security within universities by force of law.

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