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S. Sudan’s Kiir urges new army chief of staff to improve soldiers’ welfare


May 6, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has urged the new army chief of staff, General Gabriel Jok Riak to work towards soldiers’ welfare through timely payment of salaries.

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General Gabriel Jok Riak (Getty Image)

Kiir made the remarks at Riak’s swearing-in occasion held on Friday.

He urged army generals to cooperate and work with the new army chief to enable him accomplish plans started with his predecessor, General James Ajongo Mawut.

Riak, who hails from South Sudan’s Jonglei state, briefly served as acting army chief of staff when Ajongo died in Egypt last month after a short illness.

According to the South Sudanese leader, Riak’s elevation to new army chief was based on his seniority in the country’s national army.

A former deputy army chief of staff, Riak also served as sector commander in Bahr el Ghazal region before moving to the general headquarters for top level assignment at command leadership.

In July 2015, the United Nations Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Riak, among other senior military officers. The move came after the U.S Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Riak, who was then commander of Sector One of the South Sudanese military, for sanctions.

Kiir, despite the sanctions, promoted Riak to deputy chief of defence forces in December last year.


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  • 7 May 06:52, by Lenin Bull

    The SPLA is doing its best and it is the only remaining institution keeping South Sudanese together. The weakness of the SPLA is always on politicians specially the president and two ministers( Defense and Finance) who delay or keep the money of the army for months while soldiers and their families are suffering in front lines!

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    • 7 May 11:10, by Kenyang ll

      "The SPLA is doing its best and it is the only remaining institution keep South Sudanese together."

      Lenin Bull, I couldn’t agree more. Kiir makes it as if there’s money but previous SPLA chief was the reason for soldiers not being paid.

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    • 7 May 19:58, by Khent

      jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      My reply:


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  • 7 May 06:55, by Lenin Bull

    President Kiir, if you don’t take care of SPLA, one day you will regret and you will have your own self to blame. Please, take care of the SPLA well. Reform it train, arm it well, and raise the pay and pay it monthly like any army in the world.

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  • 7 May 07:53, by Lenin Bull

    Promote SPLA officers rather than all these civilian bandit and treasonous officers that gave themselves military ranks and came to join SPLA through back doors and windows. They are the ones corrupting the SPLA today because they have no military discipline. They even don’t know the roles of SPLA.

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  • 7 May 08:01, by dinkdong

    How will Jok Riak "improve soldiers’ welfare" when the country is broke. If there was something to improve their welfare, it’d have been done long time ago. They would have not been without pay for up to six month sometimes. Face it Mr. President! Face the reality of being a stubborn.

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  • 7 May 08:49, by Theallseeingeye

    where do you expect this poor boy "Jok Riak" to get all the resource, funds and supplies from, in order to enhance the SPLA myoors welfare Mr. Kiir? this statement proves that Kiir actually knows nothing about leadership, running a country or even delivering a public speech, God filter us from the humiliation those Jienge are showering upon us. Amen

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  • 7 May 09:17, by marial-akol

    guys, it is good to comment responsibly. you know the position of the president is one and it is occupies by one person not all Jieng. this shows how wrongly you were brought up.

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    • 7 May 09:49, by Theallseeingeye

      bullshit, I presume you be the man you claim you are when it comes to debates, criticism, and argument and stop hiding behind "you know the position of the president is one and it is occupies by one person not all Jieng" thing. I sure if it were a fight not forum discussion, you would be the one leading it.

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      • 7 May 09:53, by Theallseeingeye

        because Jienge can’t argue but fight, for us the first thing that is always checked on us when we get to J1 is " are you a Jienge or non-Jienge" the same applies also at check points, so Mr. Kiir is not their, and trust me the Jienge are the only rocks base supporting this regime, those few coins rebels will depart when there is no paper.

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        • 7 May 09:56, by Theallseeingeye

          therefore marial-ako, you can’t convince me that these tribalism mess that is happening in this country is done by one Jienge called (Kiir) and that all other Jienge are innocent and being targeted at the road side for just being an innocent Jienge.

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        • 7 May 14:57, by deng

          I realize the reason why Jieng Support Kiir, not because he is good leader but because you generalized Jieng as whole while most Jieng are suffering than you .

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        • 7 May 17:37, by Kush Natives

          What will let you think of going to j1 in the first place? Stop lying to yourself! Nyamnyam$. Going to j1 is not as simple as running to Uganda or Kenya little old man. Maybe someone asked you such question in the village.

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  • 7 May 09:19, by lino

    During the implementation of CPA, most of budgets of SPLA and training came from USA!
    Now things are toughest with deteriorating economy and almost no way to pay soldiers! They will overthrow the Konyo Konyo Regime very soon!!!

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    • 7 May 13:13, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

      Mr. President from where will the money come from? I remember you said the CBOSS is bankrupt.

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