23 December 2012

Sudan: Students Clash Over Commemoration of Late JEM Leader

Khartoum — Students supporters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) clashed Sunday inside the University of Khartoum when the latter commemorated the death of the founder and leader of their Movement.

Eyewitness told Sudan Tribune that the clashes occurred between the two student groups when the NCP supporters organized a discussion near the place where JEM students were holding the commemoration ceremony inside the university.

According to the sources, armed elements from outside the university participated in the clashes where some Darfurian students were wounded. Students say between four to seven students were injured.

A student said they heard the sound of gunshots.

Sudanese universities developed some freedom of expression to student political groups inside its buildings. However, under the regime of President Omer Al-Bashir, police and security elements storm regularly the campus of the University of Khartoum to prevent activities held by opposition groups .

JEM commemorated on 23 December the death of its founder and leader Khalil Ibrahim who was killed by the Sudanese army in Wad Banda, North Kordofan in December last year.

The Sudanese government said Khalil Ibrahim was wounded in fighting and died several days later. But the rebel group said its leader was killed in an air strike and accused several countries of being involved in his "assassination".

JEM spokesperson, Gibril Adam Bilal, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday said they consider the anniversary of the death of JEM leader as a national day in the history of the "Sudanese resistance" and decided to celebrate it every year as "Martyrs Day".

Bilal denounced the political and economic situation in the country saying that large segments of the displaced people in Darfur camps still live below the poverty line. He further said that the regime continues to "commits the worst types of crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity".

He reiterated JEM's determination to work jointly with "all the forces of political and military resistance" to overthrow the regime and build a state of citizenship where all the Sudanese people are equal.

In November 2011, JEM, two factions of Sudan Liberation Movement and Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North formed an alliance aiming to topple the regime by the political and military means.

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