Students Denounce Destruction, Looting Of University

This article was last updated on May 26, 2022

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War broke out in Malakal town last year no December 24 when Upper Nile University was conducting its final examinations. Due to war the exams were halted and all university students and lecturers were sent to UNMISS compound for safety before some fled to Juba via Paloch Airport in Melut County.

A student in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Malakal Campus now stranded in Juba, Chirillo Kuony Ayok said: “The looting and destruction of the university’s facility and properties is lamentable and being condemned by all students of Upper Nile University.”

Kuony said the warring parties should not turn their battle over the control of Malakal, the state capital of Upper Nile State onto the university’s property.

“We urge rebels and all parties involved to stop immediately the behavior of destroying important public institutions in the country and especially in the war affected towns,” he said.

“Upper Nile University is not an isolated institution to one community in South Sudan but it rather belongs to all the tribes and nationals. It should not be targeted for lootings. It is an institution belonging to all and for the development of all.”

Upper Nile University has been subjected to destruction since the internal armed conflict erupted in mid-December between loyalists of Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir.

Officials have earlier reported that the university’s herds of cattle and cars were looted in the rebels’ second attack on the town. However, of recent, officials have decried that almost everything on the ground was destroyed or looted by rebels as Malakal remained under their control for a month.

“They have destroyed the university. All the computers in offices are taken away. And it is also reported that they have burnt our university store,” a lecturer who preferred anonymity said.

“That would be a great loss. It is very difficult to recover that destruction very soon especially when the country is now engaged in war.”

He said all files and important documents were found scattered around by Malakal residents who had visited the campus.

Finalists like Kuony Ayok were expecting to finish and seek job in the country.  “I was supposed to finish exactly on 27 December 2013 and from there I would not be a student any longer. I would have chanted for my education freedom,” Kuony, left with only one subject to sit to become a veterinary doctor lamented.

“We cannot get any employment at all because we don’t have the needed documents. We are not anything and people can understand our situation. The graduates are more affected than any students in Upper Nile University.” He asked the government and the university administration to allow the remaining examinations to be completed in Juba, Renk and Wau as Malakal has become a battlefield with great fragility.

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