By James Atem Kuir
Civil Rights Activist called for fast renovation of Upper Nile University (UNU) to enable learning resume on the facility that had been under rehabilitation since 2019.
The university located in Malakal town of Upper Nile Statehadits structures badly destroyed during the 2013 and 2016 wars, creating lack of learning space which subsequently forced the administration to relocate to Juba.
Edmund Yakani of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a human rights advocacy group,said the facility remained in deplorable condition despite undergoing renovation for nearly three years now.
“I know there is rehabilitation ongoing on the facility, but I would like to appeal to thePresident Salva Kiir and his five deputies, that if they can pilot building Upper Nile University as a peace dividend of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, it will be good,” the activist said, speaking on phone from Malakal town.
“The infrastructure of the university is very poor for students and lecturers alike. Facilities such as those for water, and washrooms, the whole environment is literally not conducive for learning whatsoever,” he stressed, urging the Presidency to intervene and restore the university to a modern learning facility.
Yakani said the university if reconstructed, would foster unity among the people of Upper Nile region and facilitate their economic development.
Prioritize Upper Nile University as a symbol of reconciliation among South Sudanese through academics, he strongly urged.
Established in 1994, Upper Nile University (UNU) is non-profit public higher learning institution,and one of the only five universities in South Sudan.
In July 2019, reconstruction works began on key buildings in the Malakal campus following an agreement between the government of Japan and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)to renovate the university and establish a Cultural Centre at the University of Juba for 2.5 million United States dollars.