Egyptian scholarship has nothing to do with Nile water issue, Chang

Egyptian scholarship has nothing to do with Nile water issue, Chang
Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Changson Chang when he received the scholarships from Egyptian government. [Photo: Mathiang Makuach]

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology has refuted any linkage between the recent scholarships offered by the Egyptian government to South Sudanese, to the emotive issue of dredging of South Sudan Rivers.

A section of South Sudanese has strongly opposed the planned dredging of Naam River, Ostrich River and cleaning the of the Nile River – a hot topic that saw the office of the Attorney General sued at the East Africa Court of Justice in Arusha.

The issue also left the government divided with both the ministries of Water and Irrigation and Forestry reading from different scrip.

On Wednesday, Egypt which is being accused by a section of environmentalists, of being behind the planned dredging, dished out 300 scholarship opportunities to South Sudanese students.

But Changson Chang, the Minister for Higher Education now says that there is no linkage between the two events.

“These scholarships are an agreement between the Republic of Sudan and the Arab State of Egypt since 1972,” Chang told City Review in an exclusive interview.

“These scholarships were agreed upon between the two countries include all scientific fields and come annually to South Sudan after its separation from Sudan, and they are not new,” he added.

Chang’s comment came at a time when a group of activists stumped their foot on the ground saying that they will not allow the dredging to go on.

“The people of South Sudan have resisted the move and we will continue to resist any move to dredging of our Rivers by Egypt.

“We don’t want any foreign intervention into our waters, especially countries like Egypt.

South Sudan Activists Forum will continue to spearhead the campaign as we have declared one month of activism against the resumption of Jonglei canal which is meant to divert water to bypass Sudd wetland and dredge our Rivers to speed up the flow of water,” the group that has the support of some of the best brains in South Sudan told City Review in a statement.

“With one voice, we strongly say “NO” to Jonglei Canal and we will never allow our rivers to be drained in our watch.”