N’DJAMENA (AFP) – Students protesting failed payment of their grants in Chad’s capital Thursday clashed with police, leaving nine officers injured and 150 people arrested, government and hospital officials said.
“We deplore that nine people were injured among the police, but I do not have information about any injuries among the protesters,” said Chad’s minister of public security, Abdekerim Ahmadaye, following the clashes.
University student protests on Wednesday had left about 28 demonstrators slightly injured, officials said.
The country’s minister of higher education, Ahmat Djidda Mahamat, added that most of those arrested on Thursday “are not students but individuals who mixed in with them and committed acts of vandalism,” he said.
Students at the University of Ndjamena have been on strike since September 14 demanding payment of their grants which they claimed are six months in arrears.
On Thursday they marched throughout the capital seeking to get high school students to join their protest movement, an AFP correspondent reported.
Police intervened and their vehicles were attacked, but calm had returned to the capital by the afternoon.
“We will not return to our courses as long as the arrears of our grants are not paid,” said Sandjibeye Freeman, head of the Chadian Students National Union.
However, the higher education minister said that the government had paid the arrears and deplored that “a small minority is preventing the vast majority from attending their courses.”