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Rumbek students threaten to burn university unless campus is reopened

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June 5, 2013 (RUMBEK) – Students from Rumbek University in Lakes state threatened to burn down the campus unless their classes resume this month during a protest on Monday.

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Students in Rumbek staged a protest on Monday, demanding the university be reopened (ST)

More than 100 students participated in the peaceful demonstration, which was organised by the Rumbek University Students’ Union, calling for the campus to be immediately reopened.

The university has remained closed for more than a year, leaving students in limbo and facing an uncertain future.

Students marched from the university campus and continued on to the Human Rights Commission and the office of Lakes state’s caretaker governor, where they delivered a memo calling on authorities to respond to several key points regarding the university’s future, as well as detailing nine resolutions passed by the union group.

In the memo, students expressed their frustration that the campus remained closed even after a request to the ministry of higher education to reopen the university at students’ expense.

“We the students of Rumbek University are here today [3 June] telling all the concerned ministries that we have manifested to get ourselves accommodation, feeding and other requirements that have been put as an excuse for buying time”, the memo said.

The memo said that while those from affluent backgrounds had gone on to pursue their studies in Africa and other parts of the world, many former students, with some suffering psychological problems as a result of the university’s closure, while others had turned to a life of crime.

“Our students are stranded all over the streets of South Sudan commanding a desperate life. What future plans does South Sudan ministry of higher education have for us? As being the final attempt failure to open the university within this month of June, 2013, we swear to burn down [the] University of Rumbek into ashes”, the memo said.

“We [are] therefore asking the administration of Rumbek University and [the] government of South Sudan to compensate our wasted time in case our university is not reopened”, it added.

Following Monday’s protest, vice-chancellor Atem Aduong Yak held a closed-door meeting with university administrators to decide on the future of the campus.

Aduong told students they would be informed of the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting after three days.

However, students’ representative spokesperson Abraham Malith Riak said they were dissatisfied with the university’s response to their demands.

“The meeting did not answer what we demand[ed], we ask[ed] them to reopen our university and we - [the] students - will pay our own accommodation and let [the] government pay [the] lectures’ fee because we are aware of austerity measures the country [is] undertaking.”

Speaking to students after the meeting, Aduong urged students to remain calm while the administration resolved outstanding matters.

He explained that the ministry of higher education is taking steps to reopen the university, with an official response to come in three days.

“We will call you back after three days to tell you our official position; whether we will open the university or not – we have communicated your demand to Juba [and the] ministry of higher education”, Aduong said.

Since its closure last April, the university grounds have been turned into farmland, with local casual workers granted plots for cultivation.

(ST)

* Contents of the students’ memo presented to the university’s administration, Human Rights Commission and the office of Lakes state’s caretaker governor Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol:

1. Why was the University of Rumbek opened as farming ground?

2. Why has Rumbek University remained closed while other universities have been allowed to stay open?

3. Is Rumbek University an economic victim alone?

*Resolutions from the student’s union:

1. Close down all university offices: We the students of Rumbek University urge the administration to close all the offices within the campus until the university is reopened.

2. University assets: following today’s peaceful protest, we are hereby asking the university’s administration to put all assets, including cars, minibuses and any others out of use, or we are going to burn them.

3. The release of transcripts: should Rumbek University fail to reopen from the date of this protest, students request that all files and transcripts be released on the condition that the university’s administration ensures third year students are given recommendations to complete their remaining two years in private institutions of learning in either Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan at the expense of the government of South Sudan.

4. First year’s intake for 2011-2012: We - the third year students of Rumbek University - are requesting that the ministry of higher education and the Rumbek University administration in particular ensure that all our brothers and sisters, whose names fall under Rumbek University, are called as of the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year.

5. Without fear and favour, we are asking the university’s administration to identify the personalities who are behind the delay in reopening the campus.

6. University staff shall receive no salaries in the name of Rumbek University until the campus is once again reopened.

7. The general students’ body has agreed amongst themselves that hostels/and or student dormitories should be turned into lecture halls.

8. Rumbek University is warning casual workers to stop cultivating on campus grounds, otherwise they will incur heavy losses.

9. For easy consultation and coordination between the university’s administration and the students union, we are therefore asking the principle, vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor and the dean of students to remain present at the Rumbek campus compound until the university is reopened within the month of June.

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  • 7 June 2013 01:19, by omoni jr.

    Threaten to burn university?????????
    That is terrorism act....
    Therefore, Law enforcement should investigate and arrest the outlaw immediately. The campus should not be open through threats and terrorist mobilization.

    repondre message

    • 7 June 2013 07:58, by Malou Manyiel

      Demonstration is a normal way of expressing your disappointment over an event or action. I would advice to keep on pressurizing the government and authorities concern but burning down your own campus may not solve the problem but worsening the situation which can also give you a bad image. I know how frustrated you are, and we support you for that matter but please don’t burn your own university.

      repondre message

      • 7 June 2013 09:18, by Mayom County Boy

        @Malou manyiel if demonstration is the normal way why Rumbek student when on streets for a protest.it is something that may relate to corruption at last of it.

        repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 01:23, by Dau-network

    God ! Are they really been in school ! Rumbek should be relocated to Yirol or Ramchiel in Peaceful community of Aliap .what wrong with Agar community Students ?? CLEAN-MINDED ppl can not to burn university .why Juba students did not burn their university when it was closed for 1yr? when we discussed in 2004 in Nairobi which can be capital CITY,one person said big NO to Rumbek because of Agaar.

    repondre message

    • 7 June 2013 07:32, by Malou Manyiel

      Dau-network or whatever you called it,
      If you are not stupid in mind, there is no university for a single community. Are you so sure that Rumbek University belong to Agaar community only? Are those students studying in this university only come from Agaar community? Do you think that those 100 students who protested are Agaar students? Grow up instead!!

      repondre message

      • 7 June 2013 07:53, by Big Boy

        Dear Malou
        you have never been for building tension and polarisation, but you cannot applaud brutality," they said.
        Some of ur supporters chanted: "Let us go, let’s crush burnt."However,team leader urged you to "go home" peacefully."You have remained calm, mature and showed common sense you’re all going to Langcok from here." be carefully with Matur, if you try to do unlaw ful or bad things....

        repondre message

        • 7 June 2013 08:10, by Malou Manyiel

          Big Boy,
          Thank you. I’m not of that opinion of burning down the whole university, not even can I give advice or encourage those with that decision. What I was saying is the response to Dau-network comment who said those protested are Agaar students as if students from Agaar community are the only one studying in Rumbek University. Hope you got my point there.

          repondre message

          • 7 June 2013 08:21, by Big Boy

            Dear Malou
            I do understand ur view, and even the University is not only community of Agaar is for whole entirely S Sudan, some of our bro..Sis..are study...there in Rumbek, but the fact is that why do they wanted to burnt or destroyed their future.Do they think is benefitting any loser or anyone if you have nothing to do pls recruit urself and fight abyei or Panthou instead to go for Langcok.

            repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 01:32, by Dau-network

    Please make clean-minded perseon like Deng Mador Khoch be minister of Youths, Sports and genda to BRAINWASH them so that your community will be peaceful otherwise without really active leader you will remain like that till Jesus come back.

    repondre message

    • 7 June 2013 12:03, by Dau-network

      Malou.John Kudsay song"bad person and good are known when they opened their mouths for talking" can you disapprove to public that have similarities with nuer, they act before calculated consequences.75% of students in that University are from Agaar.I think u got morbid hysteria lead to hypochondriac that cannot let u considered percentage.Agaar vs Agaar every day and u have same language.

      repondre message

      • 7 June 2013 12:19, by Dau-network

        The reasons why your university not opened is because of insecurity in Rumbek nothing do with funds as you claims or even so, cannot let people menacing. That University will help their children but if burnt to ashes then it will take 20years to rebuild it.discouraging them instead of defending your community otherwise U are finishing your people because inter-communal .or university 2be relocated

        repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 07:33, by Yes 4 Federal System in S.S

    Students of Rumbek University, what I have read in your memo is very clear enough.Those who are criticizing you about the silence demonstration are the sons/daughters of our corrupted people in the GOSS(Government of self service).The so call unclad/banjin in good position in GOSS their sons/daughters are all continuing with their education at neighboring countries, that is why they don’t care.

    repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 07:56, by Yes 4 Federal System in S.S

    Students of Rumbek I appreciated the move, those who are in top level of GOSS(Government of self services) they are so corrupt, never care about are future in our local universities because their sons/daughters are continuing education at Uganda,Khartoum,Kenya,India. Tomorrow their sons/daughters will finish the courses at right time while we are still, and they will be dominate Government.

    repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 08:33, by Akuma

    Rumbek students are right to burn down university properties because governement is not interested in educating future leaders, but only their children to secede them. How come the country drive expensive cars and their families are loving outside teh country. Where do they get such huge money and University doesn’t have?
    It shame the government
    Dr. Akumadit
    Chicago, USA

    repondre message

    • 7 June 2013 08:52, by Big Boy

      Dear Akuma
      Even you are complaints for burnt, destroy..etc and you are basic abroad...so good luck my dear!!!even if we get a chance to go there it will be good enough bro...educate well and came home to show us what you learnt abroad...

      repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 09:03, by agondong

    Hello brothers and sisters of Rumbek university students your ideas is extremely condem Countrywide by all south Sudanese citizens , I advice u to withdraw that word of burning government asset or apologize .

    repondre message

  • 7 June 2013 11:26, by Yes 4 Federal System in S.S

    It’s you only who criticized the students of Rumbek University, a complete one year campus remained close with any satisfy reason. If you are the son of unclad/banjin please time will come

    repondre message

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