Why school children in Abyei are worried about elections next year

President Salva Kiir and VP Dr. Riek Machar
President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny during a meeting in the office of the President on August 11, 2022. | Photo credit: Office of the president.

South Sudan peace partners had agreed last year to hold elections before the end of the transitional period.

This month the national parliament endorsed the election bill which included three administrative areas in the 2024 democratic process.

However, children at primary schools in the region have a different concept about elections. They think the process will affect their school calendar and that they must study hard this year.

‘Umbrella Program’ for Friday 22nd September 2023 went to schools and talked to pupils and a headteacher.

“There was no proper schooling last year due to conflict in southern river Kiir. Next year schools will be closed due to elections. This is what I heard from my friends,” said one of the pupils.

Another said “Salva Kiir and Riek will be changed next year and that will interrupt our studies, we have to work now.”

Abyei Boys’ Primary headteacher says that children are getting inaccurate information about the elections.

Mr. Chol Ajang Kueth says that it is a collective responsibility to enlighten the public about elections, especially school children.