Search

 

Cablegate: Students Complain of Discrimination Based On Political

VZCZCXRO2745
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0607/01 1111336
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201336Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0598
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0166
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000607

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR D, R, ECA FOR PDAS CROUCH, AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON,
AF/SPG, S/CRS, DRL
NSC FOR PBITTMAN AND CHUDSON
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL PGOV PREL PHUM KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: STUDENTS COMPLAIN OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON POLITICAL
AFFILIATION AND GEOGRAPHY

REF: A) KHARTOUM 329
B) KHARTOUM 371

1. This is an action cable, please see para 8.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: In two separate meetings with university leaders
the week of April 13, SPLM-affiliated students and members of the
Darfur Students Union complained of discriminatory support for
students based on party affiliation and geography. Both groups
requested further U.S. support for vulnerable student populations,
as Sudanese institutions favor NCP-affiliated students over
opposition youth (especially from the SPLM and SLM-Abdul Wahid) and
students from historically marginalized groups in South and West
(Darfur) Sudan. END SUMMARY

SPLM-AFFILIATED STUDENT ORGANIZATION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (SBU) On April 17, CDA Fernandez met Tariq Koko, the Director of
the Office for Student Support of the Sudanese Organization for
Youth Development (SOYD). (Note: As Koko told poloff, SOYD is an
organization founded by the SPLM that attempts to implement SPLM
ideas in a nonpartisan manner for the support of all Sudanese
students. End Note.) Koko stated that political parties,
especially the NCP, use financial support to recruit new party
members. He said that money is the biggest challenge facing
students, and that politically active students affiliated with the
opposition, especially the SPLM, often receive unfair treatment from
professors and administrators. "SPLM students are often thrown out
of the university and experience very negative treatment," said
Koko.

4. (SBU) Koko said that he would appreciate further U.S. support
for political training programs such as those facilitated by the
International Republican Institute (IRI). Koko encouraged the U.S.
to consider supporting educational initiatives not and not just
short-term training through political parties, but through civil
society organizations. He said that partnering with the Khartoum
State Ministry of Education (the Minister belongs to the Umma Party)
and other branches of the government would prevent hardliners in the
government from attempting to undermine U.S. support for educational
initiatives. He said that a multi-party, multi-institutional
approach would decrease the level of controversy and provide
mechanisms of oversight and cooperation needed to make sure that
resources are properly utilized and monitored. He said that the
Minister of Education of Khartoum State has indicated that he is
willing to cooperate with civil society organizations such as
Koko's. He stated that as Khartoum State has the majority of
universities in Sudan, it would therefore be most logical to first
focus on Khartoum State. Koko emphasized that other universities in
Darfur, the East, and the South have also been neglected and need
support. Sudan's oppressed Southern and Darfuri students (especially
those who are politically active) are often shunted to these
third-rate schools if not to Sudan's private, for-profit
universities - if they can afford them.

DARFUR STUDENTS UNION
- - - - - - - - - - -

5. (SBU) On April 13, three leaders of the Darfur Students Union in
Khartoum told poloff that the plight of Darfur's students has
deteriorated significantly in the last several years. According to
these leaders there are approximately 20,000 students from Darfur
studying in Khartoum, and that last year alone 300 of them dropped
out due to extreme poverty, political oppression, and overall
marginalization within Khartoum's universities. "In the street
there is no racism or prejudice against anyone from Darfur, but at
universities it is different," stated one leader of the Darfur
Students Union. According to these sources, the government tries to
divide Darfur students along ethnic lines and that even though their
student association is apolitical "the government treats any group
from Darfur as though it is a political party."

6. (SBU) These sources stated that in the past there was significant
government support for students, but that now, rent, university
fees, and other living expenses prohibit most students from Darfur
from being able to study at institutions of higher education. They
stated that there are some students who are essentially homeless,
alternating between sleeping at friends' homes and on the street.
They added that the National Student Support Fund should be a
non-partisan institution that helps students regardless of their
party affiliation, but that in practice it is just a funding
mechanism for NCP students. These three leaders (from the Ma'aliya,
Arab Beni Halba, and non-Arab Fur tribes) emphasized that their

KHARTOUM 00000607 002 OF 002


organization is one of the very groups that has many different
tribes from Darfur working together peacefully and for a common
goal.

COMMENT
- - - -
7. (SBU) These meetings during the week of April 13 follow many
others (reftels) where Sudanese students have complained of
discriminatory support for students based on party affiliation and
geography. More direct U.S. support for marginalized Sudanese
students would be a good investment in the U.S.'s future
relationship with Sudan, as this programming will help support the
next generation of leaders in Sudan. Post will explore possible
means of assisting the students and their organizations, and will
also explore further collaboration with the Ministry of Education
and civil society organizations with a focus on Sudan's neglected
students.

8. (SBU) Embassy recommends that AF urgently work with R and ECA to
explore options towards establishing a modest in-country scholarship
fund at private Sudanese universities for marginalized Darfuri and
South Sudanese students.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: