Thursday, 28 April 2016

Sudan University protests spread across country

Sudan, once the largest country in Africa, is now one of the medium sized countries.

For over a week, university students across Sudan have been protesting against the Sudanese government's announcement that the University of Khartoum, the prestigious university located in the Sudanese capital, would be moved from Central Khartoum where the university has been for over 102 years to the outskirts of Khartoum. The relocation has been stated as necessary to make way for tourist attractions at the university's current location. This has angered many students and professors who took to the streets to protest over the relocation. The protest have transformed into long standing grievances and anger at the Sudanese government. Simmering protests are justified.

The people have had enough abuse

Port Sudan residents remember January 2005 Massacre and discuss their rights


It is well known that the Sudanese government has long oppressed and neglected ordinary Sudanese.  Students from Beja ethnic group were massacred by Sudanese police in January 2005 in Port Sudan in Eastern Sudan. The Beja students had been peacefully protesting demanding that Khartoum government allocate resources to marginalized Eastern Sudan where many Sudanese belonging to the Beja people and non Arab ethnicities live. Darfur, Blue Nile, Abyei and Kordafan and the Nubians in Northern Sudan in the cities of Karima and Dongola have also protested against the government policy that ignore local people in the name of development. Meroe Dam project that the Sudanese government is currently boasting as bringing much needed electricity to a large chunk of Sudan, threatened to permanently destroy Ancient Nubia and its monuments and drown Nubian history and culture in Northern Sudan in Karima near the ancient Kush and Nubian imperial cities of Meroe and Dongola by Nubians in Sudan and Sudanese Americans. Yes, Sudanese citizens did join the larger 2011 Arab Spring across North Africa and Middle East. However, Sudan's revolution fizzled out as the national police cracked down on protesters.

 Sudanese journalists protest crack down and detainment of press and media journalists

Increased crackdown on journalists, independent media in Khartoum and across the country and detaining people for criticizing the government began decades before Omar Bashir came to power in a coup in 1989. A large chuck of GDP on military defence and destructive wars on innocent civilians in Darfur, Nuba Mountains (not to be confused with Nubia) and Blue Nile, allowing arrest and detention of students from all the regions of Sudan and using terrorism as an excuse to detain Sudanese journalists, students and critics of the government. Sudanese currency has lost its value over the years as result of terrible economic policies and weak performance. Again, the lack of equal representation and power sharing among the diverse ethnic groups (Khartoum being dominated by Arab elite since before Sudan's independence). It is Northern Sudanese identity crisis not religion that is at the root of government policies, the wars and marginalization of other Sudanese regions outside Khartoum. The students' anger go way beyond Omar Bashir. In spite of arrests by the notorious National Intelligent Security Services, students protests have erupted in University of Kordofan in El Obeid following the death of a student (students are being blame for violence that broke out at the University of Kordofan) and other marginalized regions of Red Sea state where the port city of Port Sudan is located.

Students protest at University of Khartoum, Sudan's oldest university

 The U of K students are known across the country for standing up for their dignity, human rights and citizens rights.

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