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Rwanda welcomes medical students fleeing Sudan war

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A group of medical students from Sudan has been welcomed to Rwanda to continue their studies after a civil war erupted in mid-April.

Their campus at the University of Medical Sciences and Technology was overrun and turned into a base by fighters in the capital, Khartoum, where paramilitary forces and the army are involved in a power struggle.

The 160 undergraduates, who were eight months away from completing their course, have been offered space, along with their lecturers, at the University of Rwanda.

The group, which is mainly made up of women, will also be practising in local hospitals.

One of the students, Dina Abdalrahim Obaid, told a function in the capital, Kigali, what the welcome meant: “We are grateful to Rwanda that offered us refuge and opportunity to continue our studies.”

Prof Mamoun Mohamed Ali Homeida, the vice-chancellor of the Sudanese university, emphasised how lucky they felt, as many other students had fled to different countries “with no chance to carry on their studies”.

The academic added: “We requested to come to Rwanda because we hope that when the war is over, our country will need medics.”

While in Rwanda, the students will continue with their Sudanese curriculum but train in local hospitals, confirmed Didas Muganga Kayihura, the University of Rwanda’s vice-chancellor.

Officials said that the trainee medics were expected to return home when they finished – or if fighting was still continuing, they would get the opportunity to work in Rwanda or elsewhere.

In 2021 a private girls’ boarding school moved its students and staff to Rwanda after the Taliban took over in Afghanistan banning higher education for girls and women.

 

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