Sudan: Resigned Students’ Demands Not Met, Lawyers Show Support

Sudán/24 de Julio de 2017/Allafrica

Resumen: Los policías siguen bloqueando a los cientos de estudiantes que ingresan a Jartum, ya que todavía están alojados en el pueblo de Sheikh El Yagout. Los intentos de llegar a un acuerdo con su universidad sobre la caída de cargos y la readmisión de los estudiantes.

Policemen continue to block the hundreds of students from entering Khartoum, as they are still hosted at the village of Sheikh El Yagout. Attempts to reach an agreement with their university on dropping charges and readmitting students.

The more than 1,500 Darfuri students of Bakht El Rida University in El Duweim are blockaded on the southern edge of the capital Khartoum after they were stopped by National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) agents from delivering a statement, listing their demands, to the government.

The students, who resigned en masse from the university, demand the release of 10 of their fellow students accused of killing two police officers and want 14 other students who were expelled from the university to be readmitted.

A student leader speaking to Radio Dabanga from Sheikh El Yagout village warned the government against resorting to violent solutions.»Our cause has nothing to do with politics.»

Representatives of the protesting students held a meeting with a committee of White Nile state, including members of the Bakht El Rida administration. Sheikh El Yagout, namesake of the village where the students are being hosted, mediated the meeting.

«We agreed on providing fair trial oppurtunities for the detained students, adjusting the academic status of the students who were unable to sit the exams and dropping the charges against them.»

«The government did not meet our fundamental demand of readmitting the dismissed students.»

The student said that the government committee did not approve their demand to readmit the dismissed students. «But this is a fundamental demand of ours.»

Civil society initiative representatives met with the student leaders yesterday, saying that the solutions proposed by the committee of White Nile are «acceptable in principle» which can be a framework to work forward on. El Sadig Adam Ismael, policy director of the initiative, asked the prosecution to refer the case against the students accused of killing two policemen, to court.

The Democratic Group of Lawyers condemned the security apparatus blocking the students’ way to the capital Khartoum: «A clear violation and depriving them from exercising their constitutional right to move within their country.»

The group said in a statement that it is ready to defend the hundreds of stranded students, against the crisis they deem was caused by Bakht El Rida University. «We follow the cases of the detained students, who have not been brought to trial for more than three months.»

Political issue

While students said to think otherwise, Mohamed Dia, member of the National Committee for the Defence of Darfuri students, finds the students’ issue «a highly political issue.

«We will deal with it politically, and expose it to the media. The sit-in shows a new form of civil disobedience, and a method that should receive support.»

Dia said that his committee opens the headquarters of opposition parties to shelter the stranded students, and stressed the need to form a national committee of lawyers to defend them.

One of the students’ representatives, Abbas El Khair recounted the background of the situation. «It goes back to the defeat of students allied to the ruling National Congress Party in the students’ union elections.» Unrest between student groups followed on 9 May, with two policemen being killed.

He explained that about 72 students were injured in the incidents witnessed by the university in the first day, as well as the arrest of others accused of the murders.

«Agents of the security forces then moved to evict students from the boarding houses and sent-awway about 1,200 male and female students.»

The tension caused students, mainly from Darfur, to resign en masse from the university and move to Khartoum to make their demands clear. «The security service prevented travel buses from transporting the students, however. After walking to Sheikh El Yagout, more than 15 kilometres away, they were denied access to Khartoum again.»

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