We are here to honour the gallant men and women of the SPLA who have sacrificed to protect the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan,” said Brigadier General Augustino Maduot Parek, the Director General of Nationality, Passport and Immigration.
He spoke during an event at the military hospital, announcing the donation of 100,000 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) to benefit members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who were wounded in recent clashes with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in the Heglig area.
The Directorate of Nationality, Passport, and Immigration stated it had donated the money in honour of the SPLA’s readiness to answer the call to protect South Sudan’s territories from Sudan’s continued aggression.
Augustino Maduot Parek speaks with a wounded SPLA soldier in the military hospital (13.05.2012/Benjamin Majok Mon).The Heglig (Panthou) area has been the central flash point between the Sudan government in Khartoum and South Sudan’s government in Juba. Both governments have claimed the oil-rich area as their territory.
According to Parek, his office asked all its staff to donate seven days pay to support those wounded from the Heglig fighting.
Of the 100,000 SSP donation, 50,000 will go to the hospital administration; the other 50,000 will be distributed to wounded SPLA members.
Three directorates of nationality, passport, and immigration deducted 7 days salary of each staff member in order to honour these gifts to the SPLA’s wounded heroes,” he said.
You have defended our land. We are proud of you, and because of your sacrifice, the South Sudanese people have a new nation where they can enjoy working, playing, and growing together without fear of prosecution,” he said.
Parek also said that his office will allocate a mobile nationality and passport team to issue documents to soldiers at the hospital in case they need to be transferred into neighbouring countries for medical care.
He added that the entire staff of the directorate would not forget the families of those who perished in the defence of their motherland.
A medical doctor at the military hospital, Marial Majur Cikom, said that 303 wounded SPLA soldiers have been admitted to the hospital.
He reported that their conditions were good, and the hospital administration is providing full medical care. Dr. Cikom said that the hospital lacks bedding and wards to accommodate all the wounded SPLA soldiers and that is why some are being cared for in tents.
With the directorate’s donation, the hospital administration will be able to provide more services to the patients, Dr. Cikom said.
Dr. Cikom said the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has given a lot of support to the hospital and that he had promised the hospital would be renovated.
We stand behind the SPLA to support you.”Meanwhile, Angelo Ayai Keer, a directorate staff member, said that all the staff came today to pay their respects to those who lost lives and limbs for the protection of the new nation.
We are here today representing the youth of the Republic of South Sudan. We stand behind the SPLA to support you morally, financially, and physically in order to defend our country,” Keer said.
Historically, the original name of Heglig was Panthou in the Dinka language. The name was later changed by the former Sudanese president Jafer Nimeri to Heglig. The majority of people living in this area are Dinka.
The intergovernmental Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague did not clearly resolve ownership of the Heglig in its 2009 ruling on the borders between the two countries. As long as the Heglig area is not clearly demarcated, both parties rely on whatever evidence they hold to claim it.