July 24, 2012 (JUBA) - A new army garrison, the first in the region, has been opened in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State’s Morobo County, located about 120 miles from the capital, Juba.
- Ofeni Ngota, the commissioner of Morobo county in Central Equatoria state, March 04, 2012 (ST)
While speaking at its official opening, Ofeni Ngota, the county commissioner said the new army facility will help not only the border region, but the entire South Sudan in averting any possible external military aggression.
"In recent years, Morobo county was used by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) rebels, but we hope the new garrison will minimise their movement or any other rebel groups in the areas," the commissioner told a jubilant crowd of over 200 on Monday.
Security, he reiterated, is vital in achieving peace and making development progress in a new nation like South Sudan, which suffered decades of civil war, leading to massive destruction, loss of human lives and displacement of the population.
The commissioner, however, encouraged the army forces to fully utilise the fertile region by engaging in agricultural practices to produce food for consumption. Food security, he added, remains a priority in the country.
The new army base, sources told Sudan Tribune, has been earmarked to have an airstrip, playing ground, hospital and schools, amongst other facilities.
Meanwhile, Michael Kenyi, the landowner on whose plot the garrison currently sits appealed to the commissioner and government to ensure that residents, whose farming activities were affected by the creation of the facility, are fully compensated.
Morobo County last year came to the spotlight when an SPLA unit in the area killed renegade rebel leader, George Athor, after intelligence reports indicated he had started recruiting in the area.
Athor’s forces later issued a statement alleging their leader was killed by the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) army on his way to Kampala, a claim that was strongly disputed by the Ugandan government.