By Ngor Deng Matem
Western Bahr el Ghazal State government has announced a free visa for Sudanese nationals residing in the State.
The move was made to boost the business community and later develop the whole state which believes that majority of the business people in Wau and Raja towns are Sudanese nationals.
Speaking to a local radio station known as Voice of Hope in Wau town, the Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Sarah Cleto Rial mentioned how the decision was reached.
“The decision was reached at after the Sudanese raised enormous concerns to the authority. Other nationals living in our state here should have the relevant documents,” Sarah said.
She also appealed to all the foreigners within the state to report to the authority about concerns of any form of violence or mistreatment against them.
The Governor’s announcement however has raised mixed reactions among the people in Wau with some people welcoming and others not happy about it.
Mr. Ibrahim Ali Khalif, a Sudanese businessman in Suk Jou market, Wau town appreciated the move taken by the governor.
“I have stayed here in Wau for 17 years. I rarely go to Sudan. South Sudan became an independent state while I am here. So, I am confident that I qualify to be a South Sudanese and therefore I see that South Sudan is the first home than the Sudan” Ibrahim said.
“So, the decision taken by the governor is genuine and I appreciate it. Meanwhile, I call on Sudanese who are excused or who become beneficial to be obedient,” he said.
Mr. Gabriel Tiek Yuel, a resident of Darja in Wau however disagreed with the governor’s statement.
“It is not the responsibility of the governor to waive the visa fees but it is the work of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan. What the governor can do is to write the recommendations why she thinks it is right to exempt the Sudanese from paying fees but not having legal right to declare such a statement,” he said. Nevertheless, reasons as to why the governor announced such statement were not disclosed.