Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 26 July 2017

Darfur genocide goes Exodus. What a determination and what a lesson!




A manifestation of more than one decade of racially segregated conflict and a three-month escalation in tensions reached a boiling point and erupted a week ago, causing Darfur students in Bakhta Alruda University to travel more than 2000 kilometres, much of it on foot. And it is likely to explode further. Withstanding hunger, thirst, humiliation, and physical torture, the 1,500 male and female students are facing their sojourn with extraordinary resilience and bravado, defeating the entire racist dictatorship, stripping it bare, and disarming it of any moral authority, forcing the entire system to stand naked.

Reflecting on this ongoing saga that has captivated all Sudanese, a retired Judge (turned human rights advocate) Mr A. B Abdalla described the tragic scene and wrote:

((It’s an Exodus. Like the one reported in the biblical epic, where in, following the death of Joseph, his people, the Israelites, enslaved by the notorious Pharaoh, decided in deviant to depart Egypt under the leadership of Moses, who loudly cried (LED MY PEOPLE GO). They wandered in the wilderness up to their destination. So the Darfuri students are doing when they said (LET US GO). It’s a long way to break the shackles and tear the bondage.))

He further added:

((Indeed President Omar Al-BASHEER meant it to humiliate when he said (as reported by the late Hassan Al-TURABI and published in the social media) that when a Ja’ali man forces a Darfuri woman and sleeps with her, the act is neither a case of rape nor a crime. That is rather a normal behaviour.
Obviously, the ongoing determination displayed by the students is the answer Al-Basheer should expect.))

Mr A. B Abdalla further described the saga as a display of purely racial fascism of the highest order. As such, every Sudanese should now be convinced that this unprecedented and inhumane treatment is an extension of the more than ten-decade ordeal the Darfur people suffered. For sure, it’s not an isolated incidence. The story is part of a mournful background full of sorrows and tears and shrouded with conspiracies. The fact of the matter is that, ever since the eruption of the Darfur conflict, the government has painted every Darfuri—especially tertiary students—as a rebel of some sort. Everyone, man or woman, boy or girl, has been considered either a member of or supporter/sympathiser to the rebel movement. This is the truth of the matter, no doubt about it. As such, these students were portrayed as traitors, and humiliation, deprivation, and even killing are part of the penalty.

Indeed, almost every student who hails from Darfur has suffered some degree of mistreatment, whether it be racial insult, expulsion, arrest, abduction, torture, or even killing. The case of Bakhta Alruda university should only be seen in this context.
- Upon listening to, reading, looking at the pictures, talking to the students themselves, discussing with human rights advocate, civil society activists, political party leaders and concerned citizens, the unexplainable tragedy engulfing Darfur students goes beyond the story of violating university rules. It’s purely premeditated punishment.

- It should be noted that Mr Nafi Ali Nafi, the former presidential adviser, once said in public and in no uncertain terms that: everybody from Darfur holds a degree of a rebelliousness in his/her metabolism. The government needs to watch it with eagle eyes and deals with him or her with iron fist.


Some months ago, the University of Bakhta Alruda (located in Alduaem city, about 150 kilometres south of the capital Khartoum) witnessed unrests due to disputes over student union elections. During the crackdown, it was reported that two policemen were killed in action. The university administration accused and expelled 14 students who hail from Darfur. The Greater Darfur Student Association in the University subsequently protested the action, arguing that the decision was not fair and that the accusation levelled against its members were unfounded, fabricated, and unsubstantiated and the decision was malicious, discriminatory, and unfair. They appealed, but it was rejected.

As they were already smelling rat and suspicious, they eventually concluded that the whole thing was fishy, dubious, and shrouded with conspiracy. They then decided to face it flat.


Upon exhausting every other option, the students went on strike, but the University administration undermined their action and told them they could appeal to God!

Not only that, but the students strongly claim that the university’s Vice-Chancellor (whom they accuse him of being racist and biased) always connives with the security to spread hatred against the Darfuri students by inciting the innocent public in the city and by spreading rumours against them. In fact, (as reported in the Sudanese social media) it has now become public knowledge that the Vice-Chancellor hates the Darfuri students to a point that he calls Darfurians as sons and daughters of uncircumcised women.

The students strongly argue that the man is both ethically unqualified and morally bankrupt.
Furthermore, the students claim that the Professor works closely with the security who are involved in inciting the shop keepers, restaurant managers, and transport owner in the city to segregate against these Darfuri students and deploy agent provocateurs to harras the students (particularly the female students who are often insulted as displaced and homeless slave girls).

In a protest, the frustrated, angry and helpless students finally decided to walk out in mass and started marching. To guard and protect their honour, they decided to damn with whatsoever consequences and sent a strong message to the Pharaoh style Vice-Chancellor.

On the other hand, the Vice-Chancellor (who is a former Jihad combatant, who fought for years in South Sudan before being promoted to a senior position in the security system to head a department in the notorious Popular Security, in charge of university lecturers) decided to take revenge.

To that effect, the security forces ordered the public transport owners not to transport any of the students to Khartoum!

The helpless students spent days and nights without water, food, or shelter and with exposure to an unhygienic environment they walked on foot several miles before they were prevented from proceeding by security forces upon entering Khartoum.

As they were stranded, they were being subjected to all kind of insulting and provocative interrogation by the security.


It was under these circumstances that the good Samaritan intervened. In a show of humanity, solidarity, and sympathy and in a display of generosity, the pious, devout, and God fearing, Sufi religion leader in the name of Sheikh Alyaguti decided without any hesitation to host the 1,500 students, men and women, in his tiny and poor village for more than three nights!

It was reported that the Sufi Sheikh ordered the only primary school in the village to vacate for the female students while distributing the males to the neighbouring other houses. He literally mobilised the entire village and to provide food and water and shelter.

As one social commentator observed, indeed by so doing, the Sheikh literally disarmed the heartless and ruthless security. The Sheikh also slapped the Vice-Chancellor on the face.

The heartless security decided to immediately cordon the small village with tens of armoured military vehicles before they forced the students to go back. According to the report, the ruthless security forces threatened and intimidated the Sheikh by telling him on the face that he was *harbouring rebels*and that they could storm the village to the ground if he (the Sheikh) does not listen and obey their orders with immediate effect.

The security prevented the sympathiser who trooped from Khartoum to show their solidarity.
The students were then taken back to Duaem city in expectation that they could immediately be transited to Darfur.


The students also accused the Wali (the governor of the state) Mr Abdulhamid Kasha, (who happened to be a Darfuri himself). A toothless and powerless puppet governor was also found playing a conspiratorial dirty role against the students. As a chairman of the state’s Security Council was reported to have told the students that he can imprison anyone who does not abide by the superior orders. When he was confronted by the students about whether he feels guilty about the role plays, his answer was that he is only a soldier to President Al-Bashir and is executing the orders. One student simply described his as hopeless house nigger.


Hundreds of solidarity messages poured out from across the nation, expressing their sympathy and praising their determination. Messages from different student unions, political parties, human rights organisations including Amnesty International, civil society, national figures and university lecturers association... The social media featured their bravery, determination, bravado, and focus. The sympathisers also condemned the barbarism, ruthless, and inhumane behaviour and insensitivity of the government and called for the immediate, comprehensive solution of the Darfur conflict.

The solidarity message from Kassala University Student Union read:
Hail the heroes and the Heroines. We are all Darfuris.


On their way back to Darfur, and upon reaching Alobied (Kordofan), the people came out to welcome them with food and water and with placards written: “We are all Darfuris.” But the panicked security forces prevented them and confiscated the food.

After crossing 1,500 kilometres, the student reached in Al-Fasher (the traditional capital of the Greater Darfur). What will transpire there? Everything is possible, and the environment is charged. It must now be followed with vigilance.

The author is the chief negotiator of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi

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