Witnesses: 10 Sudan students arrested after unrest

AP News
Posted: Dec 12, 2012 3:12 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudanese police arrested at least 10 university students on Wednesday following days of unrest in the capital, witnesses said.

The students were arrested early Wednesday morning at Omdurman Islamic University in Khartoum, witnesses told The Associated Press. This followed clashes the day before between students from war-wracked Darfur and pro-Islamist students. A fire broke out in a dormitory building.

The incident is the latest in weeks of turmoil rocking Sudan since the government implemented austerity measures, setting off protests and government crackdowns.

Amnesty International said Wednesday that the Sudanese government "must end its violent repression of demonstrations." The group said in a statement that many protesters have been arrested or injured.

"The response to the recent protests is deeply troubling," said Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International. With reports that some protesters are planning to return to the streets, "it is vital that the Sudanese authorities' repressive methods are curtailed before more people are harmed," she said.

The arrests came after four days of protests in the capital over the deaths of four students from a university in central Sudan this month. The students, from Darfur, were protesting over their university's refusal to let them register for classes without paying full tuition. A peace deal the government signed in 2006 exempted students from Darfur from paying tuition fees.

Authorities said the four students drowned. Local rights groups accused the government of foul play. One of the groups, called Girifna--"we are fed up" in Arabic--called on citizens to join non-violent demonstrations.

This week Human Rights Watch called on Sudanese authorities to investigate the deaths of the students. The New York-based group said that Sudanese security forces used tear gas, beat protesters with sticks and batons, and arrested dozens while dispersing protests in Khartoum on Sunday and Monday.