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University student union ceremony blocked by Lakes state government

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October 6, 2013 (RUMBEK) - The swearing in ceremony of executive members of a student union in South Sudan’s Lakes state has been blocked by the caretaker military caretaker Governor Maj-Gen Matur Chuot Dhuol.

The Lakes State University Students Union (LLUSU) event had been due to take place at Akon Buoi hall, located next to Rumbek Central county commissioner’s office.
It is alleged that Governor Dhuol banned the union meeting as he feared it would result in a fresh protest against his leadership.

The occasion was being organised by students studying at one of South Sudan’s five state universities or abroad. Marial Dut, the secretary general of the union, which was established in 2011, said that his organisation worked to bring peace and harmony in Lakes State and to address the complex issues affecting students.

Dut explained that: “In May we did an election very democratically. We elected our leaders and then we raised some funds for swear in of our new executive members. Our union has no support from anywhere.”

Governor Dhuol had been at odds with Lakes state’s youth since his appointment by South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit in January as a replacement to the elected governor Chol Tong Mayay.

Mayay is alleged to have been removed due his failure to address security issues including cattle raids and fighting within ethnic groups. Since coming to power in January Dhuol has introduced controversial security measures, including detaining large numbers young men at secret military prisons and banning alcohol.

Dhuol instructed Abraham Mayen Kuc, the Rumbek Central county commissioner to stopped the university students meeting at Akon Buoi Hall but he declined to imposed the order by himself. Kuc instead instructed county executive director to order students to leave the hall as the governor needed to use the hall for an urgent meeting. However, students said that the hall remained unused for the rest of the day.

The union leader said that the date and location of the event had previously been approved by the county authority and invitations had been sent to government officials.

“We hire[d] chairs and sound systems [but] today [the] Governor refuse[d] to talk to us direct. We [have] wasted around 5,000 South Sudanese pounds out of transport and printing of document, invitation, and announcement on local radio.”

The students union has demanded that the state government pay back the money the union has wasted but the Rumbek Central county commissioner has said he cannot afford to reimburse them and has passed the claim onto the governor.

A student who requested anonymity said: "If they are not ready to pay us back, we will decide for second step that students union must undertake, otherwise we will ask them to be faithful and they should respect us, if not red line will be crossed by state government and unrest situation will immediately rise."

Students explained that there is a lack of trust that the Lakes state government will be able to address the social and political turmoil in the state.

“We were force out, we leave the hall because it is government hall – we know this government is already having differences with us as students. Governor is suspecting us that we are working to [be] organised for protest against his government which [is] not our aim. We invited entire government officials of Lakes state [but the] governor and his executive ignored our invitation”, the student said.

(ST)

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  • 7 October 2013 07:53, by Peter Mading

    That is Matur Chuot the ’graduate’. Stop renting the Government hall and stop politicizing the student Union by making it big ceremony. It undermined Matur’s intellectual capability. That is my advice.

    repondre message

    • 7 October 2013 08:16, by Mike Mike

      What is wrong with Matur Chuot does he thought that he came in power as Lakes State caretaker gov’r using force?. He was appointed by President to lead pple of lakes State in peaceful manner but should not in that arrogant way. Those students who want to sworn in their leader didn’t all comes from lakes state and they can’t involves themselves in the political disputes of other state.

      repondre message

    • 7 October 2013 16:35, by Naath

      I like the behavior of Matur chuot the foolish caretaker of lake state,tribalist dont get me wrong, I don’t blame all governors who are abusing power because they got this behavior from hopeless kiir the man who dont know his own family rule,I told you this primitive president will destroy our life one day,now is true.kiir will be kill like Libya leader by other tribe it Will happen in one more ye

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  • 7 October 2013 08:13, by peter wade

    Matur Chut Dhuol is completely walking toward messes. Strong people have already disagreed with his administration including MP, power journalist and chiefs and now students from primary and secondary till Universirty, what a hell is Matur waiting? He better to reconcilie himself those those above otherwise his life will face hell and wrong history in records. You help yourseld to God faith.

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  • 7 October 2013 08:16, by Bol Pur

    Mostly student unions are addressed by leaders using language the students use while studying. I think Governor was invited to address student union by due to circumstances surrounding his education circle that’s why he has used his powers to stop. I advice Union must do swear in in the school without governor you will be save.

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  • 7 October 2013 23:06, by whatsayyou

    Matur will step on every one back in lakes state, given the fact that he was empowered by kiir when kiir told lakes state civil population to leave the state and go some where if they don’t like Matur Chut.

    repondre message

    • 7 October 2013 23:12, by whatsayyou

      The question is why Kiir elect for us a governor when he is illegible to vote for lakes state governorship election? Let Kiir continue liking Matur and we will like none of them they are joking.

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