Sudan police fire tear gas at Darfur student demo
AFP/Albert Gonzalez Farran
AFP

KHARTOUM, Sudan: Sudanese police fired tear gas on Tuesday at Darfuri university students calling for peace in the war-torn region where violence has worsened in recent days.

About 300 students, many of them from Darfur, demonstrated at the University of Khartoum until police gassed and beat them when they attempted to take their protest outside campus, an AFP reporter said.

Students retaliated by throwing stones at the officers.

“Peace, peace for Darfur!” they called, adding: “We want to bring the criminals to the ICC!”

One student, who asked not to be named, said one of his colleagues had been wounded in the leg and taken to hospital.

President Omar al-Bashir and his Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein are both wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The campus unrest came as UN human rights chief Navi Pillay voiced alarm on Tuesday over armed groups targeting civilians in South Darfur state.

Around 45 villages have been attacked in the state’s Um Gunya area since the end of February, she said in a statement, citing witness testimony.

Sources in the area earlier told AFP that the Um Gunya violence appeared to be carried out by the so-called Rapid Support Forces. According to an analyst, they are a type of mercenary force which has backed government combat operations elsewhere in Sudan.

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