South Sudan students stranded in city

With the South Sudan government stopping the scholarship being sent to the college where they are studying, the students are now at a loss.

By Author   |   Published: 27th Dec 2016   11:31 pm

Hyderabad: The ongoing armed conflict in South Sudan has had a devastating impact on the lives of 70 Sudanese students who are pursuing their higher studies in Guru Nanak Group of Institutions in Hyderabad.

With the South Sudan government stopping the scholarship being sent to the college where they are studying engineering and business administration courses, the students are now at a loss.

With no financial assistance coming forth from the strife-torn country, the college management has served notices on them that they would neither be allowed to stay in the college hostels, nor pursue the academic courses, as it had not been receiving the fee from the South Sudanese government for the last one year.

The students, all aged between 20 and 25, were told that they would have to move out of the college campus by January 5, 2017. The students joined the college in 2014 and immediately after, a civil war that broke out in the country led to an administrative paralysis and their government stopped sending money.

With a humanitarian crisis evolving, the Confederation of Voluntary Organisations (COVA) is trying to help them by seeking donations from philanthropists. “All of them came after the government promised to bear their educational expenses and offer them scholarships. But since 2015, it had stopped providing the financial assistance. Worse, they have lost contact with their families compounding their problems,” said Mazher Hussain, Executive Director of COVA.

Despite the money not beng paid, the management of Guru Nanak group of Institutions provided them free accommodation, food and education, but it has now issued eviction notices to them.

The students are not willing to return to their country for the fear of getting caught in the worst armed conflict. The other most worrisome aspect was that family members of some of the students were not traceable or feared to have been killed in the civil war.

“Our first priority is to arrange for food and shelter for the students. Later on we will try to resolve the fee issue,” says Hussain.

Sudan crisis

The South Sudanese Civil War is a conflict in South Sudan between the government and the opposition forces. The country is now divided into three zones and thousands fled the country to safer places.

It started in 2013, after a political power struggle broke out between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. Despite two UN enforced ceasefires things have not returned to normal, More than 300,000 are estimated to have been killed in the war, and an equal number displaced.