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Rumbek school closed after violent protests

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October 5, 2011 (RUMBEK) - A school in Rumbek, the capital of South Sudan’s Lakes state was closed indefinitely on Wednesday after a demonstration on demanding it was re-opened led to the damage of government earlier this week.

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Deputy director, Jabriel Chol Maker, surveying the damage caused by protestors, Rumbek, South Sudan (ST)

Students from Rumbek National Senior Secondary school attacked Lakes state’s education ministry destroying seven computers and several printers on Monday.

The students claim that the state government has ignored their previous peaceful protests, blaming the national government for the unresolved problems rather than acting.

In Wau students claimed that on Tuesday their peaceful protest against the Western Bahr el-Ghazal state government was broken up by South Sudan’s security services using tear gas and gunfire, according to a report by South Sudan’s Radio Good News.

Philip Majak Barthon, speaking on Monday on behalf of the demonstrators in Rumbek told Sudan Tribune that the state government has 24 hours to reopen the school and release two students who have been arrested.

During the Monday protests police were sent to the school to prevent further demonstrations planned by students from taking place.

The students said on Monday that they plan to demonstrate at the state governor office, the state house, the state parliament and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party secretariat office.

Barthon claimed that during peaceful demonstrations, a committee of students set up to meet the parliament and SPLM secretariat office to raise their concerns was ”greatly insulted” and that if their demands are not met they will carry out further “destructive and dangerous” demonstrations.

Lakes state education minister Lt Gen Daniel Ayual Makoi said Wednesday that the decision to shut the school had been made jointly by the state and federal government. The school would be closed until a "conducive atmosphere" is restored, Makoi, who is also the state’s deputy governor, said.

Rumbek Senior Secondary School, which opened in the 1940’s, has a number of well known alumni, including the late John Garang who led South Sudan rebels the SPLM for 22 years until a peace deal in 2005. In January this year, as part of the agreement South Sudanese voted to become independent. This was achieved on July 9.

(ST)

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  • 6 October 2011 08:14, by Wengedi

    Rumbek Senior Secondary School, which opened in the 1940’s, has a number of well known alumni, including the late John Garang who led South Sudan rebels the SPLM for 22 years until a peace deal in 2005.

    It is just a legend of Rumbek in those days. but "WHAT ABOUT NOW & ONWARDS?" we know Govnt. is not stable but leaders need to communicate this to citzents frequently in order to understand.

    repondre message

    • 6 October 2011 11:42, by Peter Nhiany

      Wengedi, that is the problem our leaders have in So. Sudan. I was so upset when a desperate So. Sudanese citizen on SSTV expresed his concerns about how ministers and MPs distance themselves from their constituents. If you say I have no time, hence, what kind of leader are you? Yes you may have no time, but promise when you would be able to meet. Our leaders lack human skills to serve. Talk to us

      repondre message

  • 6 October 2011 08:39, by Peter Nhiany

    There is a problem that needs to be addressed here. Why would students stage demonstration if there are no pressing issues that concerns them and the ethics of their education. I do not think closure of the school is the best approach to solve conflicting issues in our communities. The ministry of education should step up and approach students on what is the action plan to address their grievances

    repondre message

  • 6 October 2011 08:46, by Peter Nhiany

    The Lake States leadership should not close their doors to thier citizens who are complaining.Their installation in public offices does not means isolation, but to be their for the people they were elected to lead in bad and good time.If these students at Rumbek University cause more damages to government properties, it should be blamed on the State leaders and school administration.Why escalation

    repondre message

    • 6 October 2011 09:44, by Malou Manyiel

      Demonstration is a communication between the government and the public in case some thing went wrong. Students have number of rights to strike if demand, but their bad behaviors of damaging properties in the offices yearly will never slove their pproblems. Police in the other hand have to be blamed, what is suppose to be peaceful, they turn it into violence. My people, when shall we learn!!!

      repondre message

      • 6 October 2011 19:42, by Peter Nhiany

        Brother Malow, our leaders need to look at things in diminsional perspectives instead of a one way view. I do not know if police is being used to intimidate people. what I think the police should be used is protection; It had been better for the Lake States officials to available themselves to try to address students’ demands and how they can be solved. Keep police in case of any escalation.

        repondre message

  • 6 October 2011 09:26, by john_gum1

    Dear All,i condemned this useless demonstration carried out by educated personel,why should we always destroy our properities in the state,if Rumbek secondary is the national government school,why not to demonstrate against national government.i suggest this school to remained closed until they changes their primitive thought.

    Thanks
    John

    repondre message

    • 7 October 2011 10:39

      yes comrade Gum, i do agree with you 100% why we destroy our own properties always?
      demonstration is not but but the way we used is not the right way. its a right of student to demonstrate if the thing are not going in a right direction, but not to destroy the things.and also to give a condition that school must be open within 24 hours.

      thanks and God bless Rumbek

      repondre message

  • 6 October 2011 10:09, by Beek

    I think now government should know that few understand their right and civil servant should know that they are serving taxpayers and there should be taxreturn to tax payers in term of school, health service and if there is any sort of ilegal taxation practice then the blame will be on government.

    repondre message

  • 6 October 2011 17:17

    KUMBONYEKI.

    My kids,kindly don’t protests.
    call us your fathers, and you are our life and feature,if there is a problem, we can solve it.This is a new nation,no more trouble.

    repondre message

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