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South Sudanese president urges army to unite against tribalism

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July 27, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Thursday urged the army’s general command and its leadership to unite against tribalism in the country.

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President Salva Kiir walks past SPLA reception parade during 6th command council in Juba on July 27, 2017 (ST)

President Kiir made the remarks at the opening function of the 6th command council of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Bilpam, the army general headquarters situated north of the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Kiir was speaking at the function in his capacity as the commander in chief of the army at the military function under the theme: "Our Loyalty and Service to the Nation not Tribes or Parties".

The president underlined the importance of restructuring and transforming the army.

“When we fought during the liberation struggle, we were all comrades. We did not fight as tribes. That was why a commanding officer could go to any place to lead SPLA forces. That was why we succeeded. The spirit of comradeship and brotherhood guided us. Where did this spirit go after we became a country and established our institutions, including this army, SPLA”, Kiir told the state-owned SSBC.

According to the president, tribalism was the cause of divisions in the army.

“I know it is not something easy to restructure and transform the army but it is the work we must not defer. The transformation we have been talking about must start from the top and this conference must concentrate on how to transform the SPLA”, he added.

The former rebel commander turned politician and became the president of the young nation stressed on the discipline in the Army, saying it is a very important element of professional army.

“Training is one of the areas in which we have to work together to transform this institution. When a soldier is trained it becomes an opportunity to know what he did not know and it comes through training”, he explained.

The SPLA, he said, was more disciplined during the war of liberation struggle than when it became a national army.

The command council is an annual military function attended by all top military leadership, including general commanding officers spread across the country in their division headquarters and heads of the specialized units at the general headquarters.

It is a military forum through action plans; strategies and implementation of the policies concerning the army are designed, developed and reviewed.

The latest function was attended by several government officials. Notable of whom was the vice president, James Wani, defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, speaker of parliament Anthony Lino Makana, minister of finance Stephen Dhieu Dau and security adviser Tut Kew Gatluak and minister at the presidency, Mayiik Ayii Deng, among others.

The SPLA was founded as a guerrilla movement in 1983 and was a key participant of the second Sudanese civil war. However, as of 2013, the SPLA was estimated to have 210,000 soldiers, as well as an unknown number of personnel in the small South Sudan Air Force.

(ST)

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  • 28 July 07:35, by deng

    Yes good to advice them ,if you don’t follow the implementation of what you said it mean nothing.

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  • 28 July 07:40, by dinkdong

    Yeah, right! Like he would do it himself.

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  • 28 July 07:43, by Thokidine

    I think the president must show consistency in his doing,he started building the country in a tribal way n now he started crying and blaming other after he smelt it. look at how structured army when Hoth was the chief,5 deputies are all from Dinka,where there no tribalism in there????

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  • 28 July 07:43, by Midit Mitot

    This is the first time from Kiir to order his commanders to act against tribalism since the war broke out in 2013, very surprise today, the question is, how will those commanders would control Malong Awan private forces call Mathaing Athoor

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    • 28 July 08:39, by Kuch

      SPLA was much more discipline during our war with North Sudan that was simply because a lot of strict protocols were adhered to. And if you happened to be outside of those protocols, then you may found yourself on a ’firing squad line’. Some boys who messed around with women by raping them were fire squatted in front other SPLA boys to show an example. Even some SPLA boys who even asked>>>

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      • 28 July 08:52, by Kuch

        the senior officials or moved to some areas of deployments where their close comrades they thought they would be comfortable with them, without the senior SPLA officials were also even fire squatted. And remember fellows, no one was paid a dime then. Our SPLA boys just volunteered themselves & their own precious God given lives for the liberation of our country & our people>>>

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        • 28 July 09:01, by Kuch

          But what has really gone wrong just after our independence when the SPLA was to be the most respected by us, the South Sudanese people & even our non South Sudanese admirers? I think, we will find this out in the ’national dialogue’. But for my own humble self, I have to be utterly blunt on this. Many *former militias* of different ’ranks & files’ that used to pay homages>>>

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          • 28 July 09:10, by Kuch

            and were ghastly in beds with the mother arch enemy, the cloned arab of North Sudan, were rashly absorbed into the mother SPLA until they became the majority by mistake. When the real SPLA boys were facing off North Sudan army & these former militias in different parts of South Sudan & some parts of the then united Sudan>>>

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            • 28 July 09:19, by Kuch

              and these main SPLA boys didn’t have some times off to set up their own families just left the army to set up their families & to be just out of the army sometimes. I can attest, even most of the main SPLA boys who left the army to go & set their families were still drawing their salaries. But who would have had some guts to blame them? A none South Sudanese, a white expatriate to be precise>>>

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              • 28 July 09:28, by Kuch

                once intoned to me & other three South Sudanese in a hotel in Juba during the leading up to our independence preparation in 2011 that "there he has never found any South Sudanese who says, he/she didn’t fight in the war of our independence" That was absolutely true, but there are some South Sudanese who fought for our war of independence than others>>>

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  • 29 July 06:01, by Adok son

    Tribalist President Salva Kiir would not encouraged the army what he is doing but he would have said this whenever tribalism is not inside his heart
    Shame on you Salva Kiir and the international community who is enjoying the death of south Sudanese people.

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