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South Sudan calls for discipline during Jonglei disarmament

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February 27,2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan has called on the new nation’s military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Amy (SPLA), to exhibit discipline as it embarks on a potentially volatile disarmament campaign which begins in three days time.

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Victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei state in South Sudan wait in line at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor to receive emergency food rations, last week. Tens of thousands fled their homes after ethnic violence erupted in Pibor county (Michael Onyiego/AP)

Lieutenant General Ajang Duot, a senior South Sudanese official made the remarks on Saturday in his office at the SPLA’s general headquarters in Juba during a briefing of the commanding officers who have been designated to oversee the crucial disarmament processes in Jonglei State.

After 120,000 people were displaced by fighting in December and January South Sudan has vowed to disarm cattle herders in Jonglei, where raids and counter raids have killed well over 1,000 people in the last year.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has said that the SPLA and police will fight those who refuse to hand over their weapons when the disarmament campaign begins on 1 March.

Initially the emphasis will be on voluntary hand overs but Kiir made it clear that force would be used if the Luo Nuer, Murle and Dinka Bor groups in Jonglei refuse to disarm.

Previous SPLA disarmament campaigns in Jonglei and other parts of South Sudan has led to fighting, with some groups not seeing the SPLA as a neutral body. Minority groups often claim that larger tribes, with better political connections at state and national level are not as thoroughly disarmed, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

The thousands arms in the hands of civilians in Jonglei are a hangover from South Sudan’s two decade long conflict with the north of Sudan. Since South Sudan seceded from the north last year, officials in Juba have accused the north of arming rebels groups in Jonglei and other areas exacerbating the proliferation of small arms.

General Duot described the Jonglei disarmament campaign as a “national duty”, urging the officers responsible to judiciously carry out the process with sense of respect and responsibility.

"DISCRIMINATORY" DISARMAMENT

South Sudan’s government is faced with a similar disarmament issues along the borders of Warrap, Unity and Lakes states, where cattle raiding resulting in deaths, displacement and destruction of property is common.

Members of parliament in Juba who represent Warrap and Lakes state told South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar earlier this month that previous disarmament campaigns have been unsuccessful as they were perceived as being discriminatory, putting some groups at a disadvantage.

They also warned the government in Juba not to depend solely on the word of state governors as they claimed some ethnic groups are overlooked by the SPLA in the disarmament process.

The SPLA went from being a rebel movement, with a patchwork regional and tribally based allegiances, to the official army of South Sudan in 2005 when it’s political wing the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a peace deal with north Sudan, giving the region self rule. Seven years on the SPLA is now the national army of the Republic of South Sudan, after the South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence last year.

UN SAYS ARMY NEEDS TO BE DOWNSIZED

The military is highly influential in South Sudan with many politicians also holding positions in the army, including the President, ministers and state governors. Military spending accounts for 27% of the government’s budget.

Juba has vowed not to cut the salaries of the security services and civil servants, despite an oil dispute with north Sudan depriving the government of 98% of its revenue.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this month the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Hilde Johnson said there was a "likelihood" that the loss of oil revenues would have an affect on the army.

She said that UN believes "the army needs to be right sized and it needs to go through a process of professionalisation and demobilisation". Government officials have told Johnson that even if salaries are not paid they will be able to cope as they lived without salaries during the civil war.

However, Johnson admitted that she was "concerned" over what could happen if the salaries of the security services were not paid. Perhaps responding to these concerns on Sunday the South Sudanese Police announced that the government had approved a pay increase from 400 South Sudanese Pounds ($150) a month to close to 700 South Sudanese Pounds ($260) a month. Officials have also vowed not to cut salaries of the army of civil servants.

KIIR URGES YOUTH TO JOIN THE ARMY

On a visit to Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, over the weekend President Kiir asked Jonglei’s youth to stop killing each other, urging them to join the national army to defend the nation from external enemies. He threatened them with the full weight of South Sudan’s military (SPLA) should they fail to disarm or join the official armed forces.

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Lou Nuer youth leader speaking in Linkuangole, Jonglei state. 28 Dec. 2011 (ST)

“We have organised a huge army forces and police with military hardware, in Juba to disarm guns from all the people. Even if you are the son of God, we shall fight you. If you don’t listen, you will see with your eyes, but it will be too late to escape it again,” President Salva kiir told the rally in Bor on Saturday.

“You jobless youth, I will give you a job and your job is to join the army where you will get guns to defend our nation,” said Kiir.

SPLA PROMOTIONS

General Duot told officers being promoted on Saturday that he hoped they lived up to the expectations South Sudan’s government had for them. He said that good leadership at the lower levels in the armed forces is more critical today than before.

The military official attended a decoration ceremony of 68 officers who were promoted to various ranks. 12 were promoted to the rank of cadet officer, 19 to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, 34 to the rank of Lieutenant and three to the rank of Captain. The officers took six different oaths of office; trust; secrecy; allegiance to the commander-in-chief; allegiance to the state and allegiance to the people of South Sudan.

“We are lucky because we have a leadership that has created an enabling environment for us to be able to move the part that we have taken,” he added.

He declared that they have a vision to make the SPLA a well trained, highly disciplined force, to contribute to nation building and at the same time provide a peaceful environment inside South Sudan and outside the young country’s borders.

General Pieng Deng, the deputy chief of staff of the SPLA for administration, told the soldiers that their "promotion is a mark of recognition by your own unit commanders, commanding officers and the Office of the Chief of Staff".

He then urged the officers to always reflect on the oaths that they swore to and remember that promotion is a parameter to govern their day-to-day activities.

Deng said that it was important for all of them to recognise that their contribution is important and that their promotion would not have been achieved without their dynamism, loyalty, dedication to duty, hard work and discipline.

(ST)

Video by SaferWorld

Cattle raiding and small arms control in South Sudan

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  • 28 February 2012 07:58, by omoni jr.

    How can you discipline cows,goats,camel and donkeys in jungle state?? it is waste of time,energy,and money to talk of discipline is in jungle state!!!

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    • 28 February 2012 08:24, by Ruach

      Murle/Jebe will not listen to any body to submit their guns at this time.Lou-Nuer Youths will not their guns to SPLA if Murle are not fully disarmed.I know some canivals like Mangoor/Dinka Dominated corruption is opening his red and decayed teeth against Lou-Nuer.Death to any canival with decayed red teeth full of blood of human fleshes!

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      • 28 February 2012 13:57, by Loko El Pollo

        TO RUACH: PLEASE TELL YOUR LOU BROTHERS TO SURRENDER THEIR GUNS PEACEFULLY.FIGHTING THE GOVERMENT OVER GUNS WILL BE DEVASTATING TO THE WELLBEING OF LOU COMMUNITIES,THEY HAD LOST ALOT OF LIVE THROUGH,ATHOR,SPLA AND MURLE.SUMMIT YOUR GUN AND NOBOY WILL TAKE YOUR LIFE AWAY.

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        • 28 February 2012 14:33, by Murle

          No need of telling Lou Youth to surender their guns because they are the laws respected people, Ihave witnessed that they are now started reported their guns to Government.
          I realy appreciate them of their habits because the respect the Government.

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        • 28 February 2012 16:33, by Ahmed Chol

          Government is not thinking wisely.

          Why announce that you are coming to do disarmament? It is supposed to be a surprise like the way "Kacha" [mobilization] was done. Most people especially Murle will burry their guns and you will not be able to collect a single gun. What a bad idea to announce. Disarmament is supposed to be forced one since the peaceful disarmament has failed. Kiir is afraid.

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    • 28 February 2012 08:46, by kalib dinka

      THOSE DINKAS IN THEIR LIFE HAVE NO DISCIPLINE,ALL DINKAS,IF THEY COULD HAVE DISCIPLINE,SUCH A PROBLEM COULD NOT HAPPEN IN SOUTH SUDAN,BUT BEING A CATTLE, NO RESPECT. I AM SURE MORE DEATH WILL TAKE PLACE BETWEEN POLICE AND THOSE CRIMINALS DINKAS.

      @ ALL PILICE AND ARMY SHOULD TAKE CARE NEXT TOMORROW AT JONGLEI.

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  • 28 February 2012 08:22, by NGAANGOLTIIN

    Jonkoz are not civilized. It is only the civilized who know the word discipline. But these Nuer and Dinka SPLA are wild animals. Let the war begin. Whether you obey jonkoz or not, they are coming to do the same crimes of fucking, stealing and murder

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    • 28 February 2012 08:36, by Ruach

      Jebe/Jabaar. Nuer & Jaang/Slaves are wild animals and not civilized? Jebe/Jabaar.Is killing and abduction of human being a civilization in your society?Submit your guns otherwise Mangoor Aguengbaar will be very happy to ’ve enough food of dead bodies.We Nuer must submit our guns and will kill any body who comes for attack with traditional spears which are more dangerous to canival families than gu

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      • 28 February 2012 08:47, by NGAANGOLTIIN

        Ruach my friend, let them disarm their own Dinka in Warap and Bor. As for Nuer and Murle, if Dinka SPLA are allowed to go to Ayod and Pibor, they will the same crimes in Ayod 2006 and Pibor 2010. Murle and Nuer must fight Kiir SPLA dogs

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        • 28 February 2012 09:33, by manyang mawech

          Murle,
          it is not Kirr problem a lone it is our prolem all as citizens and we Nuer can not fight our gov. bro stay away

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          • 28 February 2012 10:45, by Gatluak Fanguel Abangbaar

            Warning!Don’t cross my lines with my uncle Dinka Dominated SPLA

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            • 28 February 2012 13:03, by athoreyemodobong

              Reconcilliation among the waring parties in Jonglei should have been taken as the basis for any stablization effort.Disarmament should come next when the root causes for the conflict are well adressed ,and it should not be used as a trick to weaken one group in favour of another, citing the SPLA backed strategy of Mr. Kuol Manyang,Hussein Mar and Bol Kong.

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  • 17 May 2013 15:29, by dennishobson

    31NXMygMyIlyNBESNcKNqUt0G2skblssanyong actyon madeira plastica plastic lumber This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You

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