Africa-Press – South-Sudan. Authorities in Lakes State have released 33 teachers who were arrested for demanding for payment of their salary arrears early this week.
The teachers were picked from the Lakes State Legislative Assembly in Rumbek on Wednesday morning and detained at the SSPDF’s Panda Military Barracks, a teacher who survived the arrest told Radio Tamazuj.
The group of teachers had gone to the state government offices to follow up on a petition they had submitted to the state education minister, Nelson Makoi Makur, concerning their salary increments and arrears.
But in an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Friday, the Minister of Information William Kocji Kirjok said the governor ordered the release of the teachers from the detention facility.
Kocji however said about five teachers are still in detention pending investigations.
“What I know, the governor has ordered the minister of education on Wednesday to release all the teachers. But, I came across the post of the Minister of Education on social media that he has released some teachers but there are five teachers that he said have remained in jail to answer some questions,” Kocji explained.
Those still in detention have been identified as, Ruben Majak Nhial, Ater Ahou, Makur Nyot, Marol Chol, Ater Ariau, and Mabor Mapuor.
Kocji also disclosed that a committee has been instituted in Juba to settle salary arrears of the disgruntled teachers.
“There is a committee already set to work on the payment and you know this is the first of its nature. There are also guidelines from Juba on how this payment should be done, and this is why the minister was asking the teachers to be patient,” he said.
John Mabor, one of the teachers released, said they will still demand for the settling of their arrears as a right.
“Yes, I have been released. But, I am still calling upon the minister of education Nelson Makoi Makur to pay our salary arrears with 100% increments. This is our demand and we will not accept any payment without 100% increment,” he said.
Mr. Mabor also accused the state education minister of harassing them while in detention.
The state minister of education could not immediately be reached for comment.
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