May 25, 2016 (JUBA) – Lectures of various universities in South Sudan have begun to go on strike on Wednesday, 25 May, over unpaid salaries for three months as the government has failed to secure money.
The strike, which has no limited period until the matter is resolved, began on Monday and may go on until the Ministry of Finance has settled the payment of three months of salaries.
According to Philip Finish Apollo, member of the academic staff at Juba University, he told the media that the salaries include allowance of medical coverage, annual air tickets as well as higher education employees in the new salary adjustment.
The affected universities which lecturers have gone on the strike include Juba University, Bahr el Ghazel University, Upper Nile University, John Garang University and Rumbek University.
Minister of higher education, whose institution is responsible for paying the lecturers their salaries, however said the lecturers had the right to strike if there was no money to pay them.
Peter Adwok Nyaba, a new minister of the transitional government of national unity who took up his position only three weeks ago, and represents the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), said he had nothing to do to pay the three months of salary arrears as he got the ministry without money.
Nyaba blamed the situation on the previous governments, which he said, had been “stealing” the money for the past 10 years.
“I told lecturers that going on strike is their right because there is a contract. I think the situation is going to get worse and worse,” he lamented in the media on Wednesday.
He said the transitional government has not been effective for the past three weeks, explaining that there have been only two cabinet meetings while challenges to resolve are so huge.