University of Khartoum
Khartoum – Abedalgoum Ashmeag
A source in the Sudanese government has revealed that the authorities “will eschew laxity” against “any party” that attempts to exploit the recent death of four University of Gezira students to “foment chaos.” The source said the concerned authorities have
launched an investigation into the incident. The strong response by the government source appears to refer to a threat by the Justice and Equality Movement that it will “respond” to the deaths, promising that its response will be “in kind.”
The Sudanese capital, Khartoum, saw clashes between students protesting against the deaths and police forces, which used teargas and batons to disperse the crowds.
Hundreds of students at the University of Khartoum, the largest of Sudan’s universities, marched in the capital, chanting “The people want the downfall of the regime” after pelting police vehicles with stones.
The University of Gezira had revealed two days ago that the bodies of four students were discovered in a canal following protests at the university against the imposition of fees on Darfur students. The protesting students had removed all students and teachers from the lecture halls, prompting the university administration to suspend study indefinitely.
The Sudanese Justice Minister Mohammed Bishara Doussa has launched an investigation into the incident and a press conference by the Minister of High Education and Scientific Research and the university’s director is expected to be held Monday to discuss the details of the incident.
Criticism of the government’s handling of the Darfur students issue has come from various corners. The Sudanese Organisation for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms had demanded the formation of a special panel to investigate the incident which it described as being “grave.” The organisation also asserted its “absolute support” of the rights of the Darfur students afforded them by the Abuja and Doha agreements which exempted them from fees.
The movement’s general coordinator, Dr Farouk Mohammed Ibrahim, called on the whole of Sudanese society to “stand up for this cause.”
Darfur militant group, the Justice and Equality Movement, has also expressed its indignation at the treatment of the students whom the movement said had “expressed their point of view in a civilised manner.” The movement said in a statement on Sunday it would not “forgive this crime.”
The statement added that the movement had hoped that university administrations would “play a positive role in the crisis,” but that these administrations had instead “purposefully targeted, killed, displaced and tortured students.”
The movement especially singled out the University of Gezira for criticism and said the response will be “in kind.”