Darfuri Student Killed at Khartoum University
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On Tuesday March 11, violence erupted in and around the University of Khartoum leading to the death of Darfuri Student Ali Abbaker Musa, who was a student of economics in his third year at the University.
Earlier that day the Darfuri Student Union conducted a debate inside the campus to highlight the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur, where according to the United Nations 50,000 people were newly displaced in the last month.
After the debate, more than 1000 students decided to lead a peaceful protest, and were attacked by riot police with tear gas. Upon their return to the University they were attacked again by masked pro-government militias who used live ammunition and beat up students. Student Ali Ab Baker Musa was killed by a bullet to the chest.
Another student, Mohammed Omer (engineering major), received a bullet to the head. But his status is not confirmed as his body was taken to Khartoum Hospital and has not been released to his family yet.
According to a Darfur Student Union representative, who spoke anonymously to GIRIFNA, 10 students were injured; and three of them included injuries due to live bullets. One student is in a critical condition after receiving a bullet to his back, and will undergo surgery. An unconfirmed number of students were arrested by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
A public statement released today by the University of Khartoum’s “Committee of Deans” expressed regret at the violence on its campus and the death of student Ali Abbaker inside the University. It also acknowledged that students, Nagla’a Al Tayib and Mohamed Ishaq Abdulla, were injured. The statement condemned the violence and the existence of weapons and their use inside the campus. It also called for, “creating an investigation unit made of university professors to research the facts of the incident” adding that it has filed a police report, and that the university will be closed for an undetermined period of time to ensure the security of its students.
The funeral procession of the killed student, Ali Abbaker, who was buried in al Sahafa cemetery, was attended today by about 3000 people and turned into a peaceful march that was attacked by riot police who used tear gas against protesters. GIRIFNA members attending the march reported that at least 8 students were arrested from the march, by the NISS, including two female Darfuri activists.
This incident is not the first attack on Darfuri university students in Sudan. Darfur’s students have suffered from sustained attacks in universities around Sudan in the last few years with no adequate investigation and accountability by the Sudanese state.
For example, in early December 2012, four Darfuri students studying at al Gezira University were killed and thrown in a sewage ditch after Darfuri students in the campus participated in a sit-in demanding a waiver on tuition fees and were attacked by pro-government militias on the campus. On April 4, 2012, Abd Al Hakim Musa, a 21 year-old Darfuri student studying agriculture at Omdurman Islamic University was run over to death by a speeding car in a suspicious accident. Non of these incidents have undergone a transparent investigation by the Sudanese government, whose security agents and armed pro-government university students on campuses are often implicated in the violence.
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