Home | News    Tuesday 16 May 2017

South Sudan president unveils new army structure


May 15, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan President Salva Kiir has issued several orders restructuring the army, renaming the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF).

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (Photo: Reuters)

In a Presidential Decree number 85/2017 read out on the state-owned television (SSBC) on Monday, Kiir surprisingly reinstated Major General Dau Aturjong Nyuol into the country’s active military service.

Aturjong switched allegiance from the army in 2014 after the eruption of conflict but later returned to Juba where he defected from the armed opposition forces (SPLM-IO) in July last year.

President Kiir, in a separate decree, restructured the SPLA into three institutions, namely the ground force, air force and air defence and navy units. Each of the institutions will be overseen by a commander.

The presidential decrees are in line with the resolutions of the fifth SPLA Command Council Conference in June 2016, which authorised the establishment of a Defense Structural Review Committee, tasked with the review of the structures of the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs to be in line with the SPLA white paper of 2008.

Meanwhile, in another republican order, Kiir restructured the leadership of the SPLA general staff to hierarchically consist of the Commander in Chief, the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, the Chief of Defense force, the Deputy Chief of Defense force and Inspector General. This abolished the previous structure, where deputy chief of general staff is now assistant chief of general staff.

The new structure envisages re-branding the army as departments will now be headed by an assistant. As such, for instance, the deputy chief of general staff for finance and administration now becomes assistant chief of defence force for administration, personnel and finance.


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  • 16 May 2017 07:15, by Eastern

    .....Entirely on paper........!

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    • 16 May 2017 08:12, by jubaone

      To further humiliate the fugitive general Malong, the Kiirminal has reinstated Aturjong, Malong’s nightmare and archrival into active service. Malong must decide whether to rebel or become docile like some castrated bull and just be quiet. He has a battalion of hungry children and dependants to feed and can’t afford to go to the bush. Better the little crumbs from Kiirminal as starving.

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      • 16 May 2017 10:43, by Kush Natives

        There’s nothing so personal between King Paul vs Dau Aturjong. The differences that they had was something to do with politics, and we pretty much know how politics is handled. Dau and Paul will still eats together as brothers. so, I don’t see any big deal here Mr. Jubaone. Your political ideal ology is discovered here! We will not sleep till rebels loose hope.

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      • 16 May 2017 12:26, by South South


        Are so desperate and you need Dinka to help you to fight government in Juba? No way, we are not monkeys just to destroy our own country. We liberated it and we will protect it.Go out there and find some monkey’s eaters to rebel with you. Dinka can not and will not join this senseless war.

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        • 16 May 2017 14:20, by Mr Point

          A monument must be built to honour the the man who founded the independent army of South Sudan : General Paulino Matip!

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    • 16 May 2017 12:22, by South South


      This is a very real one and I believe you will not sleep tonight knowing that your coin rebels are losing everyday.

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    • 17 May 2017 07:58, by Joyuma John

      SPLA name is not changed to anything else, defence forces and south sudan defence forces are different thing all together.

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  • 16 May 2017 08:04, by Mopedi

    Mr. Kiir you Woke up over night and announced non functional structure, how can you structure such institution without constitution? How will these so called commanders operate without guiding principle? YOU HAVE RE-STRUCTURED SALVA KIIR DEFENSE FORCES (SKDF) we know that there is no SSDF

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    • 16 May 2017 12:45, by DKOne

      Mr Mopedi, if your carefully read between lines you would understand that what was known as Sudan people’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have change the name to SSDF.
      Its has always been desire for many people including within the rang of SPLA itself that SPLA should should change its name.
      So I don’t see what is wrong with that?

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      • 16 May 2017 13:11, by Mopedi


        We are in twenty first century,any single action must be guided by constitution, In this case, which article from the constitution authorizes him to act solely without consulting stakeholders. there are three theories to note in society :symbol, functionalism and conflict.one of them can cause problem or solve problem. If the armies are his then he’s right to change as he want, but wrong

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        • 16 May 2017 13:14, by Mopedi

          if the army is for defending the sovereignty of South Sudan

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          • 16 May 2017 14:23, by Mr Point

            These are wise words Mopedi. Would you just explain one small detail. When was the Constitution last functioning exactly as it was written without special power being exercised unconstitutionally ...?

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        • 16 May 2017 17:20, by DKOne

          It seems you still didn’t get the whole point. President Kiir is a commander-in-chief means he is the only person to exercise supreme operational command and control of the national military forces. Again, these kind of structures does not need constitutional mandate.
          There’s a lot I would love to express but then I’ll have to post 100+ small articles since Sudan tribune has limited posts on its

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  • 16 May 2017 08:28, by Mopedi

    I am concern that this may work best in paper than implementation, because there are numbers of thing suppose to be considered when trying to restructure military organization and they are:-
    1. The supreme principle of the country( Constitution)
    2. Level of economic development
    3. Existing technology
    4. Social-cultural environment and,
    5. Geopolitical environment in which the organization operat

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  • 16 May 2017 09:00, by Gabriel KK

    Wise and brave thinking at last. Long live SSDF!

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  • 16 May 2017 09:59, by Lou Nuer The Great

    stupidity and parasitism of JIENGES AND KIIR

    south sudan defence forces was formed by LT GEN Paulino Matiep Nhial Nuer nationalist while SPLA was formed by John Garang why you change the SPLA to SSDF and who will be the leaders of that party fuck jce policy not the dinka marginalized population

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    • 16 May 2017 14:24, by Mr Point

      Yeah, you begin to see the light....

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    • 16 May 2017 15:53, by Garang Akeen Tong

      Nuer the great

      You are tribal mind set, what is wrong if Gen. Paulino Matip Nhial formed SSDF?

      To educate you, Gen. Paulino Matip was form Sudan defence force SDF .

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    • 16 May 2017 17:02, by Khent


      You do realise that you’re not helping your case when you point out that Matip was merely a "Nuer Nationalist"? It means that the acronym he chose to name his pro-Khartoum forces was entirely disconnected from each and every single acronym letter. Salva Kiir’s SSDF will also have no relation with defending South Sudan. It’s all just a cruel hoax.

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      • 16 May 2017 17:18, by Khent

        If Salva Kiir actually had any intention of forming a *National* military, why not just call it the SSAF - South Sudan Armed Forces?

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  • 16 May 2017 10:08, by Kush Natives

    President Kiir, in a separate decree, restructured the SPLA into three institutions, namely the ground force, air force and air defence and navy units. Each of the institutions will be overseen by a commander. Mr. president, what year is this? I don’t have that much to elaborate here!

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  • 16 May 2017 12:57, by DKOne

    What’s so botherings is that many people in here on Sudantribune pretence to be south Sudanese. In actual fact they’re enemy elements whose aim are to harm South Sudan.

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    • 16 May 2017 16:13, by Eastern

      Get out the non South Sudanese you know on the Sudantribune. If you fail to do that then just shut the hell up!

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      • 16 May 2017 17:22, by DKOne

        Well, Eastern! True south Sudanese are distinguished by the way they debate issues effecting South Sudan and you are definitely not one of them. I would easily assume that you’re enemy of peace and stability of South Sudan. Your fake name and the negative rhetoric towards South Sudan sends a clear message that you’re serving those whose interest in South Sudan is destruction rather than progressio

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      • 16 May 2017 17:46, by DKOne

        At time of war there’re those who benefits, and those who lose everything anything. In my opinion you’re benefiting from the blood of those poor south Sudanese who’re suffering from this senseless war.
        Should you in anyways dare responding to me again then you should first think of revealing your identity or else stay anonymous and be known as one of enemies of the people of South Sudan.

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        • 16 May 2017 20:36, by Mr Point

          Grow up, DKOne. You think like a child.

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          • 16 May 2017 21:50, by DKOne

            What’s your point Mr. Point?
            I’m saying, people of South must preach peace among themselves instead of violence. Those who initiate violence in South Sudan are benefiting from it otherwise why should they keep engorging violence? I’m not preventing anyone not to express their views.

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          • 16 May 2017 21:54, by DKOne

            Mr. Point
            People should express themselves in a responsible and civilize ways. As a south Sudanese, it should absolutely be everybody’s obligation to preach peace and co-existence among the people rather than trying to split them.
            Work for peace because it will serves better than killings and destructions.

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    • 16 May 2017 16:57, by Mr Point


      Are you just another kid who makes everything up, instead of quoting facts?

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  • 16 May 2017 14:43, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    President Kiir made changes aggressively
    It impossible to return Dau Aturjong into active unit while Mr Paul Malong is at home
    President Kiir can think changes wisely.

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