JUBA – Five lawmakers from South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) have claimed, without evidence, that the country’s First Vice President and main armed opposition, SPLM-IO, leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, is intentionally obstructing primary eight examinations in opposition-controlled parts of Jonglei and Upper Nile states.
On Wednesday last week, South Sudan’s Minister of General Education and Instruction, Awut Deng Acuil, said in a statement that students in some opposition controlled parts of Jonglei and Upper Nile states would miss primary eight certificate examinations citing and alleged insecurity that the senior government official said threatens examiners, the students and the integrity of exams itself.
In a public letter to Machar on Friday, lawmakers Bor Gatwech, Paul Pur, Lydia John Jock, Martha Martin and Michael Ruot Koryom, all of whom allied to vice-president Taban Deng Gai, claimed that Machar was the all issue obstructing examinations after a number of meetings with the ministry of general education ended with that conclusion, beside an unsuccessful attempt to meet Machar.
“After all the above tireless efforts exerted by both the Ministry of General Education and Instruction and ourselves to reach out to your office to find an amicable solution, we concluded that the SPLM-IO leadership does not have the political will to resolve the matter,” the lawmakers said.
“We are inclined to believe that your leadership is intentionally obstructing the government (R-TGONU) from having access to citizens in areas you control as a political blackmailing which retrospectively creates division, hatred and disunity among the people of South Sudan and fit the people against their government,” they added.
They further urged Machar “in the spirit of peace, good governance, rule of law and constitutionalism as enshrined in our agreement and the constitution,” to “to immediately provide conducive environment to the Ministry of General Education and Instructions and the South Sudan National Examinations Council to urgently deliver examinations to the eight hundred and forty nine (849) students in areas you control.”