News / Africa

UNICEF Says Fighters Occupying South Sudan Schools

Displaced South Sudanese children attend class inside a tent set up by UNICEF in Mingkaman, in Lakes state. The schooling of the vast majority of children displaced by months of fighting in South Sudan has been interrupted.
Displaced South Sudanese children attend class inside a tent set up by UNICEF in Mingkaman, in Lakes state. The schooling of the vast majority of children displaced by months of fighting in South Sudan has been interrupted.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) officials said Tuesday that men in uniform are occupying at least 30 schools in five different states in South Sudan, interrupting the education of tens of thousands of children whose lives have already been disrupted by six months of conflict.

“We appeal to the Ministry of Defense and the leaders of the armed forces on both sides to make sure that they don’t use schools, hospitals or any places where we urgently need social services, that they leave these places alone, such that we can provide some support to the people,” Jonathan Veitch, the head of UNICEF in South Sudan, said.

Veitch said fighters from both the pro- and anti-government sides have taken over schools in Unity, Upper Nile, Lakes, Jonglei and Central Equatoria states, preventing around 120,000 children from using the schools for their intended purpose -- getting an education.

Even before the current conflict in South Sudan, education indicators in the young nation were among the world's worst, according to UNICEF.

"It is estimated that more than one million primary school aged children, mostly from rural areas, are not in school, while the few schools that do exist are not conducive to learning," the U.N. agency says on its website. 

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that seven in 10 children between the ages of six and 17 years of age had never set foot inside a classroom.

Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the South Sudan army, acknowledged that government forces are occupying some of the schools, but said they will soon leave.

But he said that, "In most of the cases... there are no children in the school" and the commanders "took the chance to use the school temporarily.” 

An opposition spokesman did not respond to a request from South Sudan in Focus for comment.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ruot from: South Sudan
June 06, 2014 2:09 PM
this is a very serious concern but this cannot surprise us cose SPLA under Kiir leadership are ratherless

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid