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Sudan Tribune

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Violent clashes between Islamic university groups continue in Khartoum

May 17, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Violent clashes between students loyal to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and supporters of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) have continued for the second day at the University of the Holy Quran and Islamic Sciences in Khartoum.

black smoke rising from a building of the University of Quran in Omdurman as two people spray water trying to control fire on 11 November 2015 (ST Photo)
black smoke rising from a building of the University of Quran in Omdurman as two people spray water trying to control fire on 11 November 2015 (ST Photo)
On Monday, more than 25 students from both sides were injured when clashes erupted between the two groups during the Students Union’s elections.

The clashes led to suspend indefinitely the electoral process at the university, as the two Islamist student groups traded accusations over the responsibility for the violence and the suspension of elections.

On Tuesday, PCP students accused the university administration, deanship of students’ affairs and the university guards of colluding with the NCP students during the violent clashes which occurred on Monday.

PCP students’ official al-Hag Hamid Osman said the NCP students held pistols, Kalachnikov rifles and Molotov cocktails in front of the eyes of the university officials and guards in order to undermine the elections and pave the way for the students’ deanship to declare them winners by acclamation.

He disclosed that the NCP students attacked the students’ dean and several university professors, saying the violent clashes took place between students who seek academic reform and change in the university and the NCP students.

Osman, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday, stressed that NCP students gained control over the students unions by the use of force, accusing the university guards of dealing violently with the opposition students while being soft on the NCP students.

He pointed that the NCP students consider themselves above the law, saying when they kill an opposition student the charges are usually filed against unknown persons while the police, on the other hand, rush to arrest the culprits when a victim from the NCP students falls in the clashes.

This violent confrontation is considered the first of its kind since the opposition PCP has joined the National Dialogue Initiative called for by Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir in January 2014.

The PCP of the late Islamist leader, Hassan al-Turabi, split from the NCP in 1999, and has been in the opposition since then, before the 2014 rapprochement with the government.

Sudanese universities have been witnessing a rise in the acts of bloody violence. Two students, Mohamed al-Sadiq of Omdurman Ahlia University and Abu Bakr Siddiq of Kordofan University were killed during violent clashes between government and opposition supporters respectively on 27 and 19 April.

Also, dozens of students from the University of Khartoum have been arrested last month following demonstrations against selling university premises.

(ST)