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Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 11:26 GMT
Sudan university closed after riots
Sudan army recruits
The government wants elections postponed until army recruits return
The University of Khartoum in Sudan has been closed indefinitely after two days of clashes between rival groups of students.

Supporters and opponents of the Sudanese Government fought battles at various places in the capital.


The university administration has decided to close down the university immediately and indefinitely for the safety of the students

Abdel Malik Mohammed Abdel Rahman, Vice-Chancellor
Buildings were burnt and a number of people were taken to hospital.

The trouble erupted after the university postponed student elections from September to January next year, arguing that so many students had gone to fight rebels in southern Sudan, the elections could not be fairly conducted.

The trouble broke out at the faculty of education in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman and then spread to the faculty of Agriculture in Khartoum North.

Prestigious

"The university administration has decided to close down the university immediately and indefinitely for the safety of the students and to safeguard the property," Vice Chancellor Abdel Malik Mohammed Abdel Rahman said in a statement.

President Omar al-Bashir
President al-Bashir's critics blocked his supporters

Witnesses said student supporters of opposition parties blocked sympathizers of the ruling National Congress party from attending lectures on Wednesday in an apparent attempt to force them to join a strike.

Khartoum University, the oldest and most prestigious in Sudan, has been tense since police broke up a riot last month on one of its campuses.

On 4 November, the government ordered an investigation into alleged abuses by the police, reports the French news agency, AFP.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC's Alfred Taban on Focus on Africa
"The students thought their colleagues who support the government were there as spies"

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25 Oct 02 | Africa
18 Oct 02 | Africa
22 Oct 02 | Business
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