October 4, 2011 (JUBA) – Secondary school students from Wau in Western Bahr el-Ghazal (WBEG) State held a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday calling for new leadership in the local government, South Sudan’s Radio Good News has reported.
The Catholic radio station report that Wau’s demonstration contrasted with the damage of property at the State Education Ministry in Lakes State on Monday when Rumbek National School students held a violent demonstration.
The Wau students said they were demonstrating over rising food costs and poor services in the state. The protest began around 10 am with security forces already prepared for the threat.
At John Paul Catholic School students fled from their classrooms when armed police entered the premise using teargas.
One student told that they had heard gunshots within the school. Shocked by the incident many of the young students took refuge in a nearby Churches.
For the whole of Tuesday all markets in Wau town were closed due to the demonstrations.
South Sudan has accused Khartoum of the blocking the world’s newest international border since the region seceded from Sudan in July. This has forced dramatic price rises especially states near the border like Western Bahr el Ghazal.
In September the two countries agreed to establish ten entry check points in order to facilitate the movement for goods and people. Landlocked South Sudan has to import almost all of its food and other goods including petrol through its and transport it over its poor infrastructure.
Student protests are not uncommon in Rumbek and Wau. In December 2010 students at Bahr el Ghazal university went on strike over power cuts.
In May this year students from Yirol West of Lakes state stoned an government office after one of their teachers was transferred to Juba. Rumbek students went on strike ahead of South Sudan’s independence in July demanding they sit the East African examination rather than Sudanese exams.