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Violence in a Jordan University sparked by 'tribalism'

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Violence in a Jordan University sparked by ‘tribalism’

The fighting which had started earlier this week in Mutah University, South Jordan reached a new level of violence on Wednesday

Jordanian riot police (File photo, AFP / Khalil Mazraawi)
Jordanian riot police (File photo, AFP / Khalil Mazraawi)

The president and the dean of student affairs of Mutah University in Jordan both resigned on Thursday after students with differing tribal allegiances began a series of brawls across the campus, according to the Jordanian news service, Saraya News.

During the fighting, students brandished guns and Kalashnikovs. As well, a fire broke out at the university but was quickly controlled, according to the Jordanian news service, Watan News.

President Abdel Rahim Al-Heneity and Dean of Student Affairs Musleh Tarawneh resigned after the violence, which injured eight people.

According to the Jordanian Saraya News Agency, the eight students believed to be involved in the incident have been arrested and were referred to the attorney general’s office.

Lectures at the university have been suspended, according to The Jordan Times. The fighting started earlier in the week but was reignited daily until the arrests of the students on Wednesday.

The violence was condemned by various groups in Jordan, including the Council of Tribes of Karak, who condemned the events witnessed at the university. The council called on the government to deal with the students involved “firmly,” according to a statement cited in various Jordanian media services.

Violence is not new to Jordan’s universities. An organisation called “No to Violence in Universities” was created to counter the phenomenon.

The National Campaign for Students’ Rights, “Thabahtoona,” holds consecutive governments and the Ministry of Higher Education responsible for the events.
Thabahtoona said recent events were caused by the government’s policy of “containment of violence rather than attempting to end it.” It described the events as a “massacre of higher education.”-

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