A fight over a tree between students from two higher education institutions that share premises resulted in 13 serious casualties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There have been frequent clashes between students from the University of Kisangani or UNIKIS, and those from the agricultural Institut Facultaire des Sciences Agronomiques or IFA, over rights to the use of land on the shared campus, reported Radio Okapi of Kinshasa.
Kisangani University Vice-chancellor Faustin Toengaho explained the causes of the latest violent confrontation, which he said had broken out following a misunderstanding.
“The IFA students were preparing to cut off branches from a tree which provided a shady place for students from the faculty of medicine, UNIKIS. The tree stands in front of the medical building.”
The UNIKIS students prevented the tree cutting, and the IFA students pelted them with stones. The fighting was stopped by strong-arm intervention by republican guards, but not before there were casualties, reported Radio Okapi.
“We regret that students have been wounded, who are now in hospital. I’ve been told there are 13 injured,” said Toengaho.
“Cohabitation between the students of the faculty of medicine, who occupy the big medical laboratory building, and those of IFA Yangambi, who have been just next door for a long time, has always presented problems. It didn’t only start from today,” said Toengaho.
* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.
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