Abyei health practitioners go on strike over non-payment

Abyei-health-practitionersNovember 26, 2009 (MALAKAL) — Health practitioners in and around oil contested town of Abyei have today confirmed closure of health facilities demanding payment of their 7months salaries to resume working.

Speaking from Abyei town, Mayen Kuol, head nurse in Abyei civil hospital said, all health facilities under Abyei administration have been closed effective yesterday on Wednesday November 24.

This is administration has paid little attention to our concerns since last July when we officially presented our complains over none payment of our salaries, he said.

Since then, none of the officials seem to have shown serious attention to our concern to address properly; he adds revealing that they have rejected one month payment proposed by the administration.

The administration has in the past two weeks been meeting with our representatives under me but could not resolve anything because their position is to pay us one month salary while our debts are more than one month salary, he stressed.

How realistic is it to give one month salary for someone who has not been paid for seven month salaries, he posed adding that whose problem will first be solved by this money, debts or family.

“We have families outside Abyei with majority still in northern states of Sudan and in neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Egypt just to name a few, where their living and education services for children and family members means money yet it is hard being paid on time,” he explained.

Most of us have left highly paid jobs in our previous places because we had determination to come and contribute to the reconstruction of Abyei, the government should appreciate this determination than abusing it, he adds.

Reacting to this on behave of the administration, Mr. Monyluak Hol, Director General in the department of finance said, administration greatly acknowledged workers concerns.

“This is why it was resolved in the executive council meeting to pay them one money salaries from operation budget to help them wait for full payment. It does not mean giving them one month ends their need for seven month salaries,” he adds.

The official who expressed concern linked the reason of none payment to lack of money with administration department of finance.

The administration has no money from anywhere, he said adding that head of finance has repeatedly traveled to Khartoum seeking immediate release of money to pay off these accumulated months.

“We are trying the best we can to pay these workers because their out of offices has great impact on health services to clients in the communities,” he said in conclusion.