On April 20, 2023, the University of Zalingei reported that it had been vandalized during fighting between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces.
The fighting began in late May in the context of a civil war that erupted between the two groups in mid-April. The University of Zalingei posted a statement on Facebook condemning the damage to its facilities and showing photos of papers and educational materials strewn across the ground.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the looting and vandalism of a higher education institution. Such attacks harm the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities. Parties to a conflict and others must refrain from targeting, using, or destroying higher education institutions, among other civilian objects. State authorities have a responsibility to protect higher education communities, investigate threats, and to hold perpetrators responsible; they also have an obligation to exercise restraint and to ensure that their actions de-escalate rather than incite violence. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.