SPLM-IO trade blames with MPs over children missed exam 

South Sudan's First Vice President Dr Riek Machar during SPLMA (IO) National Dialogue Conference in Juba 1st December 2020

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.

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