Mediation committees from White Nile state and Khartoum have failed to solve the problems concerning hundreds of Darfuri students of the Bakht El Rida University. Their fellow students in Sennar and Kassala took to the streets to express their solidarity.

On Sunday, Darfuri students of the Bakht El Rida University who were still staying in El Duweim in White Nile state, began to return to Darfur after negotiations with the government failed. The authorities refused to meet the demands of the students, and readmit 14 expelled students and halt the prosecution of ten others accused of killing two policemen two months ago.

The problems began on 9 May, when the police of El Duweim violently broke up clashes between student members of Sudan’s ruling party and opposition students over a disputed guild election at the Bakht el Rida University. Two policemen were killed. Seventy Darfuri students were detained that day.
Investigations into the policemen’s deaths are still underway, Amnesty International said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Darfuris at the university protested the expulsion of 14 of their fellow students and the detention of the alleged killers in vain. This caused more than 1,000 students to collectively submit their resignation from the university last week because of “the security services and the university administration’s racial targeting of Darfuri students”.

The students then decided to deliver their demands to the federal Ministry of Higher Education in Khartoum. After the authorities in El Duweim told bus owners not to admit them, more than 1,500 Darfuri students then began to walk to the Sudanese capital.

At Sheikh El Yagout village, south of Khartoum, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), stopped the marching students. They told the villagers not to provide food and beverages to the stranded protesters and the students “to return to where they came from”.

Mediation attempts

Kamal El Zein, member of the students’ Crisis Management Committee, told Radio Dabanga that “five rounds of mediations did not lead to any solution”.

The Darfuri Students Committee along with other parties met with the Bakht El Rida University administration and the El Duweim Security Committee again on Sunday morning in a renewed attempt to bring the views of two parties together.

“The University administration however refused to comply with any proposal submitted by the students,” El Zein said.

“As a result, the remaining Darfuri students, feeling they have been subjected to fierce racism by the university’s administration, began to leave for their homes today.”

The student leader warned that “These intensely discriminatory actions will have consequences not only for the Bakht El Rida University and the government of White Nile state, but also for Sudan in general”.
He again appealed to the University administration to reconsider its stances and readmit the dismissed students. “More then 1,200 Darfuri students are losing their future in this way.”

Read the entire story here.

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