Pricy tickets strand students in Darfur-Kordofan rail town
Dozens of students from Darfur are stranded at a university town in south-western Kordofan near the Darfur border after the price of train tickets sky-rocketed. Roads have become largely impassable due to seasonal rains as the price of a train passenger ticket rose from 80 pounds to 300 pounds.
Babanusa which is in the heartland of the Misseriya Arab tribe is somewhat removed from the frontlines of the South Kordofan conflict between the Armed Forces and insurgents based in the Nuba Mountains. The town is at a key fork connecting two of Sudan’s only railway lines, the Nyala-Khartoum line and the Wau-Khartoum line.
Students from the five states of Darfur studying at Peace University in Babanusa of Southern Kordofan state are trying to return home after the university closed for vacation. They say that the Babanusa Railway Administration has not cooperated to help transport them homeward.
One of the students explained that the price of a ticket had risen from 80 pounds to 300 pounds, because of the rainy season and stop of vehicles and large trucks from work, and that it was impossible to provide that amount, considering that the total amount they receive from their parents does not exceed 200 pounds a year. The student appealed to Babanusa Railway Administration and the Chamber of Commerce to act and assist in transporting the students in order that they not have to beg or become a burden on their colleagues or Babanusa residents.