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South Sudan president sets date for army integration

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First batch of SPLA-IO forces who arrived in Juba on 28 March 2016 (ST Photo)
August 17, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has announced his government would integrate all armed dissidents by May 2017 to allow creation of unified national army.

His first target is the armed opposition group led by his former first deputy, Riek Machar, which his new deputy, Taban Deng, agreed to start integrating immediately into the national army and finish the process within the next 12 months.

“There will be one national army by first May 2017,” said President Kiir in a prepared speech, copy of which Sudan Tribune has obtained on Monday.

President Kiir also argued that the idea of two armies under separate commands in one country has proven to be disastrous.

“The unnatural reality of one country and two armies coexisting side by side is dysfunctional and already proven to be disastrous, as we witnessed during July’s tragic events,” he said, while referring to the recent clashes at his Presidential Palace on 8 July and the subsequent fighting that followed.

The head of state revealed that he had instructed his chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, to start the process which he expects to be completed by May 2017.

“Last week, I instructed the chief of general staff to start the process. Matters of recruitment, training, promotion, command and missions will be professionally determined and based on merits, not according to ethnic and political affiliations. We are one nation. Our military is our defence force,” he explained in a speech to members of transitional legislative assembly.

The process of reforms, he added, will get into effect by January 2017.

“We will introduce broad reforms on how the military is structured and function. This reform process will go into effect by January 2017.”

The unified army, according to senior security officials, will be stationed in barracks outside civilians inhabited towns and other urban centers with high population density.

However, Machar is still commanding the SPLA-IO, making it difficult for President Kiir and his new first deputy, Gai, to realize the integration process of the opposition forces across the country.

(ST)

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  • 18 August 2016 01:08, by Malakal county Simon

    South Sudan will never have one army before election....... STD has no army on the ground as the whole SPLM- IO overwhelmingly rejected him and confirmed their full support to legitimate leader Dr Machar!!!!

    repondre message

  • 18 August 2016 05:56, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    No body was elected Riek Machar, into a deputy president position
    He was a Kiir Mayardit who elected Gen. Taban Deng Gai and splm-io are responsible of such selectioned and therefore Taban Deng Gai is a legitimate fvp under unity government of South Sudan republic.

    repondre message

    • 18 August 2016 07:28, by Malakal county Simon

      AML/Slave

      Look at you, jumping up and down without any clue!!!!

      I thought STD was elected by a disgruntles group of Stephen Tabab Deng?? Stupidity speak louder, than you....

      repondre message

    • 18 August 2016 10:22, by Mr Point

      If "we are one nation" as Salva Kiir said , why does Salva Kiir make use of a tribal militia under paul Malong to try to eliminate the voice of alternative ideas?

      repondre message

      • 18 August 2016 10:25, by Mr Point

        With his December massacres, was it not Salva Kiir who created one nation, two armies?

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  • 18 August 2016 10:30, by Mr Point

    Our military is our defence force,” he explained in a speech to members of transitional legislative assembly, forgettin explain why their preferred mode of defence operation involves gang rape, village burning, torture and killing of children and civilians

    repondre message

  • 18 August 2016 10:44, by Eastern

    Kiir is a fool; he had "his army" the SPLA co-existing with the SAF of Omar el Basir in Sudan not for 18 months but for 6 straight years! Kiir, pursuing his grand Dinka agenda, just doesn’t work with Dr Machar, a man, he’s afraid out reasons him all the time!

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    • 18 August 2016 17:17, by Hardlinner

      Eastern, u indeen out your mind. Firstly khartoum was under full security of bashir forces. Secondly spla under Garang/Kiir knew rule of engagement and so did bashir soldiers. The case for juba was deliverate act to cause more fighting. IGAD knew majority of riek forces were recruited in village just like some quoters of kiir troops. They created a time ticking bomb which exploded into chaos

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  • 18 August 2016 17:25, by Hardlinner

    Firstly Kiir need reduce army to about 100,000 or less and modernize it fully. By equiping them with all prerequisites of winning the war. Secondly, quota system need to be introduce with respect to tribal population. composition should be 38% dinka, 15% nuer and 47% should comprise of other 62 tribes.

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    • 18 August 2016 19:07, by Mr Point

      What is the rational argument for modernising a primitive army that exists to loot and torture civilians?

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