The Utopia that We Are All Sudanese

Dalia Haj Omar discusses ‘The Utopia that We Are All Sudanese’:

Following the sad events of March 11, at the University of Khartoum, GIRIFNA did what it usually does. It issued a brief statement based on eyewitness accounts of its members about the death of student Ali Abbaker Musa. And the violent treatment and arrest of the Darfuri students who organized and attended a political debate and a peaceful march inside the campus, in order to highlight the latest deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur.

What followed was a vibrant debate resulting from messages of concern that poured in from within the movement questioning why the title of the press statement was, “Darfuri Student Killed at University of Khartoum” and not simply, “Student Killed at University of Khartoum”.

Many felt strongly that singling out the ethnicity of the killed student served the regime’s tactics of dividing us as “Sudanese” into ethnicities rather than what many of us dream of being–Sudanese citizens of one nation before and on top of our ethnic and/or tribal affiliations. Others insisted that the suffering is generalized and we should focus on issues and not tribes/regions. It is important to note that the Darfurians and members from the East within the movement had an opposing opinion, and argued for the importance of pointing out Musa’s geographic origin.

I would like to argue that in this particular context it is important to stress that a Darfuri student was murdered by the regime. The event inside the campus was organized by the Darfur Student Union who wanted to raise the awareness of the rest of the student body about the worsening humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflict in their region.

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