SUDAN: Two dead as Darfur students protest at UN-Qatar mediation

Published December 8th, 2010 - 11:09 GMT

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UN peace keepers secure the area as Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud arrives in Darfur.
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Image 1 of 13: UN peace keepers secure the area as Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud arrives in Darfur.

A UN peace keeper mans a machine gun as security remains tight.
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Image 1 of 13: A UN peace keeper mans a machine gun as security remains tight.

Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union, and Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud are greeted by local Sudanese.
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Image 1 of 13: Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union, and Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud are greeted by local Sudanese.

Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union, is surrounded by bodyguards and Sudanese policemen as he prepares to address students protesting outside the University of Zalingei.
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Image 1 of 13: Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union, is surrounded by bodyguards and Sudanese policemen as he prepares to address students protesting outside the University of Zalingei.

A Sudanese man holding a cane scuffles with university students after clashes erupted during a protest 
against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western 
Darfur.
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Image 1 of 13: A Sudanese man holding a cane scuffles with university students after clashes erupted during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western Darfur.

Sudanese policemen stand guard as university students gather during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western Darfur.
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Image 1 of 13: Sudanese policemen stand guard as university students gather during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western Darfur.

Sudanese students shout slogans during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.
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Image 1 of 13: Sudanese students shout slogans during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.

Sudanese students protesting against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.
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Image 1 of 13: Sudanese students protesting against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.

Sudanese policeman standing guard as students gather to protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.
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Image 1 of 13: Sudanese policeman standing guard as students gather to protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.

Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, whose country has been hosting for months peace talks between the Khartoum government and Darfur rebel groups, gives a speech in Geneina.
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Image 1 of 13: Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, whose country has been hosting for months peace talks between the Khartoum government and Darfur rebel groups, gives a speech in Geneina.

Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud (C-R) shakes hands with South
Sudan leader Salva Kiir as he arrives with Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union for a meeting in south Sudan's regional capital Juba.
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Image 1 of 13: Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud (C-R) shakes hands with South Sudan leader Salva Kiir as he arrives with Djibril Bassole, chief negotiator for the UN and the African Union for a meeting in south Sudan's regional capital Juba.

A Sudanese student shouts slogans during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.
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Image 1 of 13: A Sudanese student shouts slogans during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei.

A Sudanese student points in the air during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western Darfur.
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Image 1 of 13: A Sudanese student points in the air during a protest against the visit of Darfur mediators from Qatar and the UN outside the University of Zalingei in western Darfur.

The Darfur Conflict is an ongoing guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing or committing genocide against black Africans in favor of Arabs.

One side of the conflict is composed mainly of the official Sudanese military and police, and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group recruited mostly from the Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat region in Sudan; these tribes are mainly camel-herding nomads. The other combatants are made up of rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups.

Although the Sudanese government publicly denies that it supports the Janjaweed, it has been providing financial assistance and weapons to the militia and has been organizing joint attacks targeting civilians.

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