Government forces stormed the University of Bahri in Khartoum North for the second time this week. Supported by militant student members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), they ravaged and torched a number of facilities on Thursday. Forces also search buses in Khartoum for young people of Darfuri origin.
Students described to Radio Dabanga how “NCP students, armed with metal bars and Molotov cocktails, and supported by security and police forces” stormed the University’s premises again on Thursday morning.
“They clashed with the students present, and beat them. The University’s library, the secretariat of academic affairs, and students’ office, as well as four vehicles went up in flames.”
On Monday, a large force of policemen and security agents raided the Kadaro compound of the Bahri University, and violently broke up a political meeting, organised by the Darfur Students Association. A number of students were injured, and dozens were detained. The forces also searched houses in the neighbourhood rented to Darfuri students.
The Darfur Students Association had organised the meeting to discuss the eviction of at least 48 Darfuri students for not paying tuition fees, and the University administration’s ban on wearing African dress, and a particular style of haircut.
Students told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that security forces also have begun to inspect public transport. “They search the buses for young people of Darfuri origin. Any young person suspected to come from the western part of the country, is picked out, and detained.”
They described the detention campaign “based on colour and identity” as the fiercest one since 2008, when rebel forces of the Justice and Equality Movement raided Omdurman.
According to the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, Darfuri students are exempted from tuition and exam fees. The stipulation was later enforced in an agreement between the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) and the federal Ministry of Higher Education. Nevertheless, several Sudanese universities have refused or evicted Darfuri students, who were unable to pay the fees.