JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir is
ready for peace talks with his longtime political rival
and rebel leader Riek Machar, a presidential spokesman
said on Monday.
spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, told Xinhua by phone that
the South Sudanese leader has accepted the
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
proposal for face-to-face talks with the former first
Kiir has agreed to meet Machar as proposed by the IGAD
Council of Ministers because he is committed to peace. I
can not speculate what they are going to discuss in the
meeting now,” Ateny said.
the East African regional bloc, IGAD, which is mediating
efforts to revive South Sudan’s stalled 2015 peace deal,
recommended President Kiir meet Machar before the next
African Union (AU) summit slated for July in Mauritania.
was called for after the several warring parties in
South Sudan last month failed to agree during the second
round of the High Level Revitalization Forum held in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
president is ready to meet with Machar anytime,
anywhere,” Ateny added. He said the president is only
waiting from IGAD the venue to be named.
after the regional ministers set June 30 as the deadline
for face-to-face talks between Kiir and the exiled rebel
leader to resolve the conflict.
If it takes
place, the face-to-face talks will be the first meeting
between the warring South Sudanese leaders since Machar
fled Juba in July 2016 following renewed violence.
Machar is reportedly under house arrest in South Africa.
descended into civil war in late 20013, and the conflict
has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in
the world. The UN estimates that about 4 million South
Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
A peace deal
signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN
pressures led to the establishment of a transitional
unity government, but was shattered by renewed fighting
in July 2016.
South Sudan enrolls 1.5
million children in school in 2018 despite conflict:
JUBA South Sudan ( Xinhua) --
At least 1.5 million South Sudanese
children have enrolled in school in 2018 despite the
ongoing civil war that has displaced more than four
million people, data released by the country’s education
ministry on Monday shows.
statistics from the School Attendance Monitoring System,
an online education monitoring platform, school
enrollment this year reached a record breaking 1.5
million in May, up from less than one million in 2013.
Lotyam, undersecretary at the Ministry of General
Education, attributed the improvement in school
enrollment to introduction of school meals, cash
incentives for school going girls and teachers,
strengthened partnership with aid organizations in the
education sector and improved security.
that enrollment for female student across the East
African country increased from 39 percent in 2014 to 45
percent this year.
“Based on an
analysis of enrollment patterns and number of admission
registers and school budgets received, it is now
expected that academic year 2018 enrollment will reach
1.7 million pupils, reporting from 3,800 schools across
the country,” Lotyam told a news conference on Monday.
the UN, South Sudan’s education indicators remain among
the worst in the world, with 73 percent of the country’s
population of an estimated 12 million people illiterate
and 2.2 million children out of school.
19,000 children are estimated to be in the hands of
armed groups in South Sudan, according to the UN
Children’s’ agency UNICEF. The country’s education
crisis is blamed on protracted conflicts and
under-funding by the state.
little gains, Lotyam warned that the number of
out-of-school children in South Sudan could rise to 2.5
million in the next two years if the ongoing conflict
does not stop.
of out-of-school children has increased by almost
500,000 children since 2014 and if this trend continues,
in the next two years, we are going to see more than 2.5
million children will be out of school and this is
because of the ongoing crisis in the country,” said