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Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)

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SPLA chief of staff General James Hoth Mai (Photo Larco Lomayat)

The SPLA is the official military of South Sudan.


The SPLA waged 22 year insurgency against the Khartoum-based government of Sudan, before joining the national government in a 2005 peace deal that also made SPLM the ruling party in Southern Sudan.

The SPLA uprising began in 1983 when John Garang, then the head of the army’s Staff College in Omdurman, joined guerrillas and the 105 battalion in mutinying and fleeing to Ethiopia.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement established the SPLA as the official Army of of southern Sudan, while the Sudan Armed Force is the Army of northern Sudan army. During the 2005-2011 interim period both are formed the Sudanese army. The Joint Integrated Units formed in accordance to the peace deal were supposed to be the nucleus of the Army of a future united Sudan.

However, in 2011 South Sudanese voted to seceded in a referendum granted as part of the CPA, and on 9 July 2011 the SPLA became the official army of the Republic of South Sudan.


In budget of 2008 Southern Sudan’s parliament allocated the SPLA 40% of the semi-autonomous region’s budget annually, which translates to 400 million Sudanese pounds (US$187 million).

SPLA Videos

Al Jazeera English | On the frontline with South Sudan’s army | 27 April 2012

Al Jazeera | South Sudanese troops ’advance’ on Heglig | 25 April 2012

Al Jazeera English | UN Security Council weighs Sudan sanctions | 18 April 2012

Sudan and South Sudan have accused each other of launching attacks on a new front near the border. It follows talks by the UN Security Council on possible sanctions against both countries. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Khartoum.

Al Jazeera English | Sudanese jets attack oil pipeline | 5 April 2012

Al Jazeera crew forced to take cover, as South Sudan claims to have shot down one of planes which carried out raid. Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri reports from on the Sudan-South Sudan border.

Al Jazeera English | Al Jazeera – Fears of war as Sudan talks stall | 2 April 2012

Source Unknown | Salva Kiir Mayardit in Bhar El Ghazal in 1989 | 1989

Source Unknown | Dr. John Garang and Salva Kiir Mayardit in Longkuei | Date Unknown

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