10 December 2012

Sudan: Darfuri Students Found Dead, Mass Demonstrations in Khartoum

Photo: Al Jazeera
Protesting (file photo).

Khartoum — Students of several universities took to the streets on Sunday, 9 December, denouncing the killing of three Darfuri students from the University of Gezira. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that students from the University of Khartoum, Sudan University, and Wadi Al Neel, Al Ahlia, Neelain and Sennar universities participated in the demonstrations.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that protests broke out after the bodies of three Darfuri students from University of Gezira were found in a canal in Wad Madani. Darfuri students protested earlier in the week demanding to be exempted from tuition fees.

The students shouted chants such as "no to tribalism and no to regionalism, Sudanese 100%" and "killing a student is killing a nation". Students from the University of Khartoum said that "the government tried to divide and plant racism among the people, but we are one and our cause is the same and we are all Sudanese belonging to the same country and we love every inch of it". They called on the people of Sudan to take to the streets and overthrow the regime.

Additionally, a statement issued by the opposition holds the government responsible for the killing of three Darfuri students. The Sudanese Congress party demanded the president of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr. Tijani Sese, and the state Minister of Health to submit their resignation, according to the demands of their people and all the people of Sudan.

The demonstrators reached the heart of the 'Souq al Arabi' in central Khartoum. According to reports from students, police used excessive violence to disperse the crowd.

'Horrible offense'

Also, the Sudanese Organization for Defending Human Rights and Freedom demanded the formation of a committee to investigate the arrests, injuring and killing of Darfuri students and to bring the perpetrators to trial.

The organization described the incident as a 'horrible offense' and its general coordinator, Dr. Farouk Mohamed Ibrahim, said that Darfuri students are systematically targeted by Sudanese universities and treated 'unfair'.

Farouk said that the violations of the rights of the people of Darfur are not limited to displacement and killing, targeting of women, elderly and children, burning of villages in the region, but expanded to racist offenses in other cities including the capital Khartoum.

The Umma Party, led by Imam Sadiq Al Mahdi, described the killing of the students as an 'appalling crime that makes you shiver' and an 'unimaginable violation of human rights and dignity'. The party said in a statement that what happened at the University of Gezira is yet another crime to be added up to the crimes committed by the regime'.

'Two students injured in clashes'

Students from Al Neelain University demonstrated on Saturday but security services and university guards intervened and dispersed the protesters. Two students were reportedly injured in the clashes between students and the security services and taken to a hospital in Khartoum for treatment.

Students told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus arrested Israa, daughter of late Dr. Khaleel Ibrahim, founder of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), together with around 25 others students.

On the same day demonstrations were organized in the neighbourhood of Khartoum 2. A number of people were arrested, including Ghazi Al Rih Al Shazly, Reehan Al Rih Al Shazly, Khaled Salak, Ahmed Badri Elias, Lamia Sharfi and Wissal Babeker.

Darfur armed movements, Sudan Liberation Movement -Abdel Wahid and SLM-Mini Minnawi and JEM, issued statements condemning the murder of the three students.


The council of deans of the University of Gezira decided on Saturday to suspend the classes for an indefinite period. On the same day, the funerals of two of the students were followed by a demonstration in the evening in Wad Madani.

The security services reportedly used teargas to disperse the crowd. It was added that the security services arrested two lawyers, Mohamed Zain and Majdi Salim on Sunday. Minister of Justice, Mohamed Bashara Dosa, announced the formation of a committee to investigate the events. He added that the committee is led by Dr. Tijani Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Rahman.

For its part, the Liberation and Justice Movement condemned the murder of the students. The movement's spokesman, Ahmed Fadel, told Radio Dabanga that the movement condemns what has happened and demands an independent investigation.

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