Kiir, Kuol apologizes to families of the Martyrs
July 30, 2018 – The government has apologized to the families of the martyrs and the wounded heroes for the failure of the current leaders to support them. President Salva Kiir and the Minister of Defense, Kuol Manyang both say the inaction by the government to care for the widows, orphans and the wounded heroes was a “mistake” though not deliberate.
Today, South Sudanese are observing the day Dr. John Garang died in a helicopter crash as he returned from an official trip in Uganda. The day is observed yearly to pay respect to Dr. Garang and also millions of other South Sudanese who died during the 21 years of the Sudan’s Civil War. Up until 2014, the day has always been celebrated in an official event across the country. But according to the SPLA, there shall be no official function to commemorate the day today due to lack of funds.
According to the Transitional Constitution, the government is to facilitate the rehabilitation of and benefits to disabled war veterans, orphans, widows and care for the dependents of deceased war fallen heroes and heroines. In 2015, the Ministry of Defense said it had set up a pension program for the families of martyrs.
The program is said to have registered several families of martyrs, who could receive benefits once the economy improves. In the same year, the Transitional National Parliament conducted a public hearing on a bill to improve the welfare of the families of martyrs.
The Martyrs’ Family Fund Bill 2015 was presented to parliament by the joint Committee of Gender, Religious Affairs and Justice for deliberation. But nothing has so far materialized. According to the Minister of Defense, Kuol Manyang, the current leaders have failed to honor the sacrifices of their comrades during the 21 years of civil war.
He was speaking during the SPLA program on the state television SSBC yesterday.“On this occasion, I would like to salute the widows and the family of our martyrs and the wounded heroes, and to accept that we did them wrong, because we have not taken care of the families of our martyrs. We have not taken care of our wounded heroes, and this is a huge mistake. We apologize for this, because evil entered into our hearts,” Kuol said.
For his part, President Salva Kiir appealed to the families of the martyrs and to the wounded heroes to continue to remain patient.
He expresses hopes that with the current efforts to bring peace back to the country, the government will embark on supporting them.
“…to the families and all the relatives to the martyrs is that they should not loss hope. We are not taking good care of them, not because we have forgotten the loved ones that have died during the struggle, but because of the situation we are subjected to by our own comrades,” Kiir said. “Am hopeful that this situation will be resolved and we will come back to solve our problems in the house, that’s is taking care of our disabled, elderly, and very children that are an able to cope up with life.”