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Parliament petitioned over conditions of students abroad

Students occupy South Sudan Embassy in Cairo - June 2013, demanding unpaid allowances | file photo

A civil society group in Juba has petitioned the transitional parliament over the conditions of South Sudanese students in Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Majority of these students are on government scholarships.

According to representatives of students under government scholarships in those countries, the students are unable to buy basic needs due to lack of stipends.

This, they say, is negatively impacting on their studies.

“We received disturbing and sad news about the welfare of our students who are studying in Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia…some of them are under government scholarships,” said Michael Wani, the Executive director of Okay Africa Foundation.

“Seeing a lot of stories on social media, students who are there are testifying on the situation they are going through, is heart breaking. That is why we believed that government should be able to come out and address this issue.”

One of the students who came back because of difficult situations he faced during his studies in Egypt confirmed this.

Anyango Victor said some the situation has already forced some students into doing criminal activities.

“The only solution is that you have to join them either by ending up doing prostitution or being in a gang,” he said.

“You snatch people’s properties, you go and break people’s homes so that you earn a living because nobody here in South Sudan send to you money.”

In response to the complaints by the students abroad, the chairperson of education committee at TNLA – Ahmed Mohamed – said students are facing such conditions because they are on partial scholarships.

“The matter with the partial scholarship at the end may be the poor person may not be able to continue…We don’t have full scholarship up to now. There is no country providing full scholar to us,” he said.

In April 2018, about 76 students under government scholarship in Zimbabwe were reportedly denied food by their university administrations.

In September 2015, more than 150 South Sudanese students occupied the embassy in Cairo for more than two months in protest against delayed payment of the money.