Student dies at protest in Darfur

Khartoum – A student was killed in North Darfur during clashes with Sudanese police, who fired tear gas to disperse protesters demonstrating against a ban on political activity, media reported on Thursday.

Jamal Adam Mustafa of El-Fasher university was killed after 12 police trucks blocked the campus, which the police then burst into, firing tear gas on students at Wednesday’s demonstration, the independent Al-Sahafa daily reported, citing witnesses.

The pro-government newspaper Al-Rai Al-Aam said seven people were injured in the clashes.

The demonstration was prompted by the university’s decision earlier in the week to prohibit cultural and political activities, according to Al-Sahafa.

The government of North Darfur accused the protesters of belonging to different factions of Darfur rebel group the Sudan Liberation Army and to southern former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and said they had attacked a student member of the ruling National Congress Party.

Since January, north Sudan has witnessed sporadic protests calling for regime change, civil liberties and an end to soaring prices, organised by students via the Internet and inspired by events in Tunisia and neighbouring Egypt – where popular uprising forced veteran leaders to step down.

But the Sudanese government has pursued a zero-tolerance policy towards any opposition demonstrations, with police using tear gas and batons to disperse protesters and making sweeping arrests.

Youth activists have called for peaceful, nationwide demonstrations on Monday to topple the government, which they accuse of mass killings in Darfur, corruption, failing to provide jobs or curb the high cost of living, and allowing the security services to torture and rape those held in custody.

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