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Education under Attack 2010 - Sudan

Publisher UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Publication Date 10 February 2010
Cite as UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Education under Attack 2010 - Sudan, 10 February 2010, available at: [accessed 21 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A British primary schoolteacher was arrested and sentenced to 15 days in jail for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Mohammad". She was released after five days in jail, following an international outcry, and was pardoned by the President. Many senior clerics had called for her to receive the maximum sentence of six months in jail or 40 lashes for insulting the Prophet. Protesters against the leniency of her sentenced demanded that she be beheaded.681

By April 2007, attacks on schools had become less frequent in the South but increased in other areas, particularly Darfur, where students and teachers were targeted by armed groups and many schools were forced to close.682

In Darfur, all attacks on schools occurred during ground attacks or clashes between armed groups. In September 2007, five schools were burned during an attack on Haskanita. The UN said that most looting of schools took place in western Darfur.683

In 2006, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked the Arapi Regional Teacher Training Institute near Juba, on 23 May, allegedly because it was operating a food distribution programme for students.684

In addition, several school children were reported killed by SLA-MM (Minni Minawi), a breakaway faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army, on their way to school on 5 July in Dalil, northern Darfur.685 It was later reported that 11 students and one teacher were killed in the same incident as they tried to escape from their school in Dalil during an attack by the SLA-MM faction.686

Previously, in 2005, government and armed groups launched attacks and forcibly closed schools in the Zaghawa community in southern Darfur.687

On 11 February 2006, a large group of students was beaten by police while they were dispersing a protest over the failure to relocate Juba University back to southern Sudan. Around 200 protestors were arrested, 149 of them women. The women were released after representations by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, but the remaining detainees were reportedly tortured in "ghost houses", the name for unofficial National Security detention centres.688

In November 2008, UNICEF estimated that up to 6,000 children, some as young as 11, had been recruited by rebels and government forces in Darfur, and 2,000 in southern Sudan.689

The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) admitted use and recruitment of child soldiers and pledged to end recruitment. But 47 children reported in the Kilo 7 barracks, Bentiu, Unity State, in July 2006 were not released until July 2007. They had been enticed by SPLA officers with the promise of education. In October 2006, the SPLA raided a school in Nasir, Upper Nile, and abducted 32 boys for use as child soldiers. Thousands of children were recruited from refugee camps by armed groups in Darfur and involved in the conflict in May and July 2006, but it is not known whether they were recruited from schools. In 2006, Sudanese children were recruited from the Djabal and Goz Amir refugee camps in eastern Chad, where teachers were among the recruiters.690 In 2003, adolescent boys in Khartoum reportedly faced potential abduction from schools by government forces for the purpose of being trained and deployed on combat duty.691

[Refworld note: The source report "Education under Attack 2010" was posted on the UNESCO website ( in pdf format, with country chapters run together. Original footnote numbers have been retained here.]

681 NEAR, "Teacher Released After Presidential Pardon," December 4, 2007.

682 Watchlist On Children and Armed Conflict, Sudan's Children at a Crossroads: An Urgent Need for Protection (April 2007), 5.

683 UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Report of the Secretary-General (2009), 22.

684 Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Sudan's Children at a Crossroads, 26; and UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Sudan, S/2006/662 (August 17, 2006).

685 UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Sudan. 686 Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Sudan's Children at a Crossroads, 27.

687 Ibid.

688 NEAR, "Sudanese Students Beaten, Detained and Reportedly Tortured," February 14, 2006.

689 Andrew Heavens, "Up to 6,000 Child Soldiers Recruited in Darfur: UN," Reuters, December 23, 2008.

690 UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict, A/62/609-S/2006/826, (October 26, 2006), as cited in Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008, 319.

691 Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Sudan's Children at a Crossroads, 59.

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