July 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Police and security forces are currently clashing with students of Khartoum University (UoK) after they attempted to march in a peaceful protest to the office of the University’s director, Sidiq Haiati, activists said, on Tuesday afternoon. One day after the director said he rejected police involvement in university affairs.
Activists also told Sudan Tribune that earlier on Tuesday the police had raided the dormitories of the main campus in down town Khartoum and fired tear gas at the students who refused to vacate in compliance with the University’s decision to close some faculties.
UoK has been witnessing increased protests and clashes between student activists and police forces, supported by pro-regime militiamen and students known as Rabata, since the birth of widespread demonstrations in response to worsening economic conditions on 16 June.
The most violent confrontation occurred on 11 July, when police firing teargas and Rabata armed with machetes raided one of the University’s campuses in Khartoum and clashed with protesting students.
The anti-government youth group Girifna announced on Tuesday, via Twitter, that security forces are currently clashing with students who attempted to stage a marching protest to the university director’s office.
The protest attempt comes after the university’s director, Sidiq Haiati, made a rare appearance at a press conference held on Monday to deny that the decision to close the university was politically motivated.
Haiati claimed that many faculties had already finished their term and that’s why they had decided to close during Ramadan. He accused some unknown parties of seeking to profit politically and spreading rumors about his resignation.
Haiati was reacting to press reports that said he had tendered his resignation after he was ordered to close the university by the director general of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohammed Atta.
The director, however, stressed that the administration maintains a clear position on the entrance of the police force onto the campuses, explaining that they reject the involvement of the police without prior permission from the administration.