4th March 2021
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Gov’t fails to transport students on scholarship back to Ethiopia

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Thursday, January 28, 2021

PHOTO: The Ethiopian Civil Service University [ECSU] where hundreds of South Sudanese students under government scholarship are to return to. Credit | ECSU Website

Some South Sudanese students studying under government scholarships in Ethiopia say they have not been able to return to school due to lack of transport fare.

“The transportation cost is huge for the students to afford,” a student leader said.

The over 200 students were flown into the country in May last year after they protested over hardship during the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

This came a month after South Sudan government had requested the government of Ethiopia to allow the students to continue staying there.

The request made followed an order by the Ethiopian government that all foreign students, including South Sudanese, leave the country due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

But the students demanded to come back home after they said they had run out of food for weeks and the government failed to respond to them.

Maker Mangol, the secretary of South Sudanese Students in Ethiopia, told Eye Radio that they have nearly missed out a whole semester due to the delay.

“It is very hard for the students to go for lectures since schools reopened in early December last year,” he said.

The student leader said they repeatedly presented their complaints to the Ministries of Finance and Higher Education, but these institutions often tell them there is no money.

“We tried with the government to transport us but they usually pull ropes with the students.”

He disclosed that only students whose parents can afford air ticket have travelled to Ethiopia.

Members of the public have called on the government to expedite the return of the students.

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