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S. Sudanese students protest in Cairo over poor living conditions, unpaid bursaries

June 20, 2013 (RUMBEK) - A number of South Sudanese students on Tuesday stormed their embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo and demanded immediate fulfillment of their demands", an official said Friday.

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Peter Adwok Nyaba (The Niles/Pascal Ladu)

Mawien Arik, South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry spokesperson, told Sudan Tribune that the students’ "bursaries have not been paid to them by the government for the last couple of months".

The protestors said they would not leave the embassy, until problem is resolved.

South Sudan’s ambassador to Cairo, Arik said, informed the ministry of higher education in Juba about the protest, adding that they "wrote back a letter promising that the problem will be solved".

"The problem had been solved partially," said the foreign affairs spokesperson. It however remains unclear whether the students demands were indeed met.

Meanwhile, ambassador Anthony Luis Kon and his deputy John Cairo have remained silent over the students’ protest.

The students say they were forced to sleep on the floor of the embassy for three nights waiting for the funds, without any person talking to them or addressing their concerns.

Julius Zindiah Madit, a spokesperson for the students said the protest had been triggered by variety of reason, including the delay in receiving their bursaries for nine months, since September last year.

They further complained of lacking accommodation during the three-month university holiday between June and September, or a ticket to facilitate their return to South Sudan during that period.

Madit also said that the students had not been provided with medical care, stationary or books, which they had been promised.

South Sudan’s minister of higher education science and technology, Peter Adwok Nyaba made empty promises when he came to Cairo, Madit said.

The student spokesperson alleged that their ambassador had warned the students that, should they continue sleeping at the embassy, his only option will be to order Egyptian police to arrest them.

The students said they would not leave the embassy as they had no where else to go and vowed to confront the police, should they attempt to forcibly remove them.

(ST)