SPLM-IO trade blames with MPs over children missed exam 

Members of National legislative assembly and Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition under the leadership of First Vice President Riek Machar have traded an accusation over more than eight hundred primary eight candidates who missed national exanimation in the Jonglei Upper States.

The Minister of General Education Hon. Awut Deng Acuil withholds taking class eight exam to SPLM-IO control areas last week, citing insecurity threats that lead to confiscation of their staff member’s property. 

South Sudan national exam for primary Leaving certificate was kickoff on Monday and end on Friday 12th. 

Restriction of examination for pupils in the IO control area received wider condemnation from the education partners who see it as clear abuse of the child’s fundamental right to access education.

On Tuesday, February 9th, national members of the parliament issued a statement, blaming Machar’s unwilling cooperation for guaranteeing security forces compromised of national security and police service to protect exam.

The five MPs who issued the statement include Susan Machar, Michael Ruo Koryom, Martha Martin Dar, Lydia Jatin Jock, Paul Pur Liah, and Bor Gatwech Kuany.

MPs publicly criticized the First Vice president after meeting with the General Education minister, who briefed them on unfold child rights abuse.

Lawmakers who signed the document claimed that they had contacted the First Vice president’s office on February 7th to meet them but declined their request, citing a busy schedule. They further accused Machar of lack of political will and intentional obstruction of the government of R-TGoNU access to citizens in their areas.

MPs say the move “created division, hatred and disunity among South Sudan people and fit the people against their government.” 

The office of First Vice President denied any wrongdoing. They dismissed the accusation terming it as a “misleading statement.” 

They say the five allegations labeled against them by the lawmakers were “untrue and baseless.”

“Honorable Minister Awut Deng Acuil spoke with the First Vice President on the phone about the matter. Neither a meeting was conducted in person, nor did they meet many times as the letter falsely alleged. 

“In that phone conversation, the Minister was reassured by the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership that the Examiners and Examinees’ safety, including the conducive atmosphere for the Examinations, will be fully taken care of. There was that understanding in their conversation,”  The 1st Vice President’s office stated.

The press secretary Puok Kueth Baluong highlighted the conversation contents agreed. He said the First Vice President met international partners and Envoys; he assured them the children in the selected areas should do the Exams. And provide reassurance the safety for all those staff who will be involved in the exercise.

Shearer: Agreement heightened doubt and frustration

UN Special Representative of the secretary-general David Shearer has blamed slow implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

The Revitalized peace agreement was signed in September 2018, but there is no smooth implementation. Many keys provision issues include the formation of the Unity government, the graduation of joint security forces, and reunification of soldiers still pending.

The Head of UN Mission says that despite all effort made on the pace of implementation, lack of commitment among the signatories to the agreement will jeopardize the peace deal to hold elections at the end of the transitional government of national unity.

Mr. Shearer warned that slow implementation would open opportunities’ for “peace spoilers” to exploit local tension and fuel conflict.

UN noted that they had seen a recent increase in sub-national violence in Maban, Warrap, Jonglei, and Akobo. 

He explained current unfold situation has given them broader views to following up on the Jonglei conference government hosted in January this year to look at the root cause of the conflict.

 “UNMISS has increased patrols to the potential hotspot, and this week, we plan to deploy peacekeepers to seven temporary operating bases across the country. If we can deploy early in this dry season, we have better success to prevent violence before it happens,” said David Shearer.

In the press conference, the UN confirmed the Bor-Juba protection site’s smooth transition to the unity government. The South Sudan National Police Service is in charge of security in the former POC site located at the Yei checkpoint. 

UN boss disclosed Bentiu site should be re-designated in the next couple of weeks as a transition discussion is underway government of the state. And “Malakal POC transition might take longer.”

Shearer stressed they would support SSNPS by building professional policing and justice in the court of law so that judges can hear crime and punish perpetrators. 

We (UN) believe that it is very important because there is accountability if you have committed a crime; you are likely to be punished, and you are likely to go to court.”

Shearer says he is looking forward to seeing the collaborative approach in working, trust and confidence between the displaced community and police.