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South Sudan University Closure Over Lack of Food Stirs Protest

By Awan Achiek

Students at Dr. John Garang Memorial University are protesting the delayed reopening of the learning facility despite relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Resumption was scheduled for mid-2019 but again rescheduled to March 2020 due to failure to provide food in the campus.

According to Majok Daniel, a four-year student of Banking and Finance, the strike will help unravel the problems at the campus.

“Since the COVID-19 partial lockdown was lifted, we have not heard from the University about the reopening,” Daniel told Juba Echo from Bor town.

“This is why we have called for this peaceful demonstration to pressure the University administration, Ministry of Finance, and also to bring to the attention of the country that we are tired of this delay in the reopening of the University,” he said.

Another student, Majak Samuel Atem expressed the urgency in reopening of the university.

“We want the university to open as soon as possible because we are really tired of this delay,” Atem said.

“Some of us who are now on the street today protesting should have graduated two years ago but due to this delay we couldn’t make it,” he added.  

He said that the demonstration will continue as long as the university remained close.

 The Vice-Chancellor of Dr. John Garang University, Prof. Abraham Matoc said the campus can only resume operation if the Ministry of Finance clears the outstanding arrears of contractors.

“After our meeting with the President regarding the feeding program for the students, the President called the Minister of Finance and gave him directives to speed up finding resources to pay the contractors,” Matoc told Juba Echo.

He advised students to continue being patient as the administration finds ways of addressing the problem.

“The progress for paying the contractors is underway and there is a need that the students to be patient although they have been patient enough, let them continue to be patient,” Matoc said.

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