Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

12 December 2012

Sudan: Omdurman Campus Dormitories 'Burned Down'

Omdurman — Students and security agents supporting the National Congress Party (NCP) have clashed with protesters at the Omdurman Islamic University (OIU) and set fire to the university dormitories on Tuesday, 11 December, witnesses informed Radio Dabanga.

Protests erupted at universities across Khartoum state after the bodies of four Darfuri students enrolled at Gezira University were found in a waterway in Wad Madani last week. The students were reportedly killed by security officers after participating in an 'anti-tuition fees' protest.

Eye-witness reports charge that the students were attacked by supporters of the NCP during a peaceful protest and were forced to retreat to the dormitories where they were beaten with sticks and batons. At least seven people were injured, the students added. Among the injured students are Ahmed Ali and Saleh Ahmed from South Darfur and Abubaker Ishaq from North Darfur.

Additionally, an unknown number of Darfuri students were arrested during Tuesday's protests. Among them are Abubakr Ali Arbab, Gasim and Rasher, students reported.

They claimed that students and NCP 'militias', backed by the security forces, burned down the rooms of Darfuri students in the dormitories while directing racial slurs at them. It was added that some students were trapped inside the dormitories, while the majority was left out in the streets with their belongings and no place to go.

Reports charge that the fire was blazing for an hour before fire crews arrived, but that many students had been driven from the buildings by tear gas before it began, claiming that most of them got out safe. Reuters reports that demonstrators at OIU were driven to the dorms by police and NCP agents using teargas and batons before the fire at the dorms broke out.

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