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SPLA to be transformed into national army after independence: official


July 6, 2011 (BOR) — Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is due to be transformed into the national army forces for the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS), after South Sudan independence declaration on Saturday 9 July.

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SPLA soldiers conducting a mock parade in Juba on 5 July 2011 in preparation of South Sudan Independence Day celebrations (ST)

SPLA, the former guerrilla military wing of SPLM, formed in 1983 in a rebellion that fought for more than two decades against the government of Khartoum to liberate the South from northern government. The War ended with 2005 peace accord granting southerners the right of self-determination in which they voted for south secession in January. The independence is due to take place after two days from now.

Speaking from South Sudan capital of Juba, SPLA spokesperson, Col. Aguer Panyang told Sudan Tribune that the government is working hard to transform the SPLA into a national army.

Col. Aguer stressed that transformation to a conventional and disciplined army will talk months or years saying the change needs training, real structure and adoption of one unified doctrine among others.

The sopkesperson said the new Nation will need to develop the army from quantitative to qualitative in terms of discipline, compatriotism, armaments and equipment and creation of some units within the Army.

Recognized as the official army of South Sudan since 2005, the SPLA integrated a large number of militias as part of a process aiming to absorb armed groups in the region particularly those who fought against the former rebel group in the past years.

The UN estimate the current number of South Sudan army has between 150,000 to 200,000 soldiers with different degrees of loyalty. David Gressly, UN regional coordinator for South Sudan sad the SPLA absorbed over 20 to 25 armed groups.

Gressly urged the South Sudan authorities to demobilise more than the half after independence.

"There’s no need for it. You can have a more effective army that’s smaller than a larger army that is not as professional as it could be. They’d be better off with a better trained and a smaller army," he told Reuters in a recent interview.

Col. Aguer said the South will still call her army SPLA till full transformation is achieved.

He also pointed out lack of resources as some of the challenges facing the process of transformation.


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  • 7 July 2011 07:36, by George Bol

    SPLA has been professional but the militia make them unprofessional. SPLA has been trained high,so we need model weapons, airforces, and many moderns that army can have.

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  • 7 July 2011 07:42, by omoni_jr

    The soldiers have been trained enough.
    No need of wasting some money for training and leaving millions of children starving to death without food.
    Tomorrow after independent, the army have to be tested by sending them to be deploy in Somalia as AU peacekeepers,so that they fight Al shabab,and get some military skills ,and disciplines.

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  • 7 July 2011 08:08, by Adam

    Although late, but it is good. Yes it may take time, but it has to start immediately. We should not allow Westerners to restructure and institutionalize our National Army. They will do that to ensure the highest possible gains for them. They will tailor an army that is fully dependent on them (training, armament). Believe me they will send many soldiers to streets without deep thinking or viable alternatives. This will consequently create a new cycle of civic troubles and wars.

    After independence with a good constitution, we must have to work hard to have a good government. All corrupted people have to go. Long history of service should not cripple us to bring people with brains and honor to lead us. We have a lot to do - no time for emotions. No time to make mistakes.

    We cannot achieve anything if the current leadership of SPLM/A continue to hold on positions. New mentality, blood and creed have to be in place.

    This is true in all our serious affairs.

    Adam Milawaki, Juba

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    • 7 July 2011 08:58, by Liberal

      Dear Adam,

      Thanks for comment. In fact, we have numerous things to do after independence although its sound like a joke than we have to strive hard for the future of our new nation.
      I do believe that SPLA have all the qualifications of an army but with many problems. 1- they lack social attitudes towards citizens and that’s why you always find them conflicting with many citizens of different communities. 2-SPLA have been brought up in a tradition of grouping and this was planted among them by all senior officers of the SPLA.3- They lack discipline towards leaders for instant, when you find a solider from James Hoth group it is difficult for him to respect a soldier from either Dr. Riek Machar or James Wani Igga.

      There is a need for us to strengthen SPLA and work hard to retire all the generals and bring new educated people that will work for peace, justice, unity and prosperity of the nation because an army is supposed to protect civilian not to kill them. An army is supposed to work for the welfare of the citizens, an army that cannot work for self interests.
      finally, We will make sure all the commanders must be patriot not traders and looters. 40% of government of Southern Sudan’s budget goes to the SPLA and the budget cannot reach the intended purposes due to corruption and bad governance in the SPLA. I would suggest our army to be called South Sudan National Army (SSNA)

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      • 7 July 2011 09:08, by Wanibuluk Ciciliba

        Dear Liberal,
        That is good of you to know the problem of SPLA so now giving it all that you mentioned, DON’T YOU SEE ANY NEED TO TRAIN THEM? They must sit in class to be thought all the areas of conduct and disciplines a soldier is supposed to have.
        A respect to senior officers is mandatory is the army regardless of where the officer is coming from.
        Our SPLA should be pruned in a way that they can go for a UN mission elsewhere in the world but that can’t happen when they are the way they are now.

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        • 7 July 2011 12:34, by American Missile.

          Dear Wanibuluk.

          Your point of criticizing the SPLA, for its capacity is not your professional point of discussion,because if you are/were here in South Sudan,you can see the efforts they SPLA have made it to be today of celebration you never think of.and if you are/were not here in South Sudan,then you have no reason to talk like that before you practically see it by yourself.

          SPLA is well-trained soldiers which World doesn’t have at all.hence,they do not want to be taught according your assumption.your observation is not fully clear,try to rethink.

          however,what is your contribution if you are still in abroad or in present?

          By Political and Democratic Activist.
          Majok Akotdit.

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  • 7 July 2011 08:59, by Wanibuluk Ciciliba

    Dear ADAM,
    I give you my finger tip.If you analyze well what is meant in this article you will see it happen on very little capacity ask me hy?
    The Gvn’t is dominant of single tribe both in the army and the public sectors at all levels and as David suggested that it is better to have few who are professional than having banch of fools means relaggation(Retrangement) of some numbers and that is where the signal for problem comes
    Secondly at the end this officer said they are lacking funds so to me, it is a very concivable idea but has to be done within a suitable time when resources are available and pay off those who can not meet the requirement for a mordern sildier.They claim they fought the war and they have to remain serving to compensate them, I gues this ideology is very dangerious for a Country wanting to transform into a morder Country competetive in the world of peacekeeping operations.
    If you look at Countries like Uganda coming from Gorrellers to a mordern army is because of laying off those who fought the war for liberation and recruited the most suitable, understanding and respectable men and women, so that can be an example here.
    SPLA currently have the biggest numbers of illiterate and ignorant with animalistic atitudes staff who do not know and understand the essence of being a soldier and if these group is not eliminated we should not think of a mordern army.
    Mind you, no mordern army without training therefore, no one should say SPLA attained enough training which is not even seen in them at all so they must undergo series of traing in different field of armarment.
    Invovle every tribe to contribute to the development of this Country that is my stand as opinion maker.

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    • 7 July 2011 09:18, by monykuc, Southerner

      Dear Wanuibi,

      Let’s avoid creating tribalism among south sudanese because nothing is to be gained in tribalism. you said the government is dominated by the single tribe at all levels. where did you get that statistic? We all know the government is not the President, not the ministers, not the undersecretaries. government is the parliament and the manpower that include Director Generals, Directors, experts and the entire employees which i thing equatoria is leading in term of GOSS manpower. i am talking of realities and experience not on assmption and hatre about certain tribe.

      I know you are intellectual but lacking ideas and at the same time you are not well informed about how the government works. Nobody refuse to recruit educated people into the SPLA but you find people making criticism which became their cutlure. I would like you to change your negative perception about Dinka and the rest of the tribe whom you think they are dominating everything.

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      • 7 July 2011 09:40, by Kuek


        Who cares, whether the government is a Dinka or gogrial government, they have the right to reap the fruit of their sweats and blood. Cry as much as you feel like but wipe your face and join us on the table and the menu is "Sacrifice".

        Good Luck!!!!!!!
        By Dwinka

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        • 7 July 2011 13:14, by hard liner

          as your name sounds am sure your are one of the illiterate dinkas who just came from the cattle camp yesterday though you know how to read and write no wonder why statements like ’’reaping the the fruit of their sweat’’ came out. If thats how you reason the cows you are raring are far better than you, please you can re-read wanibuluk’s mail, he did not mention any tribe but we can hide from the fact, some tribes dominated the government especially the dinkas, thats because of tribalism and illiteracy so that their relatives protect their positions and if that will continue after the independence, we have the solution on our finger tips, wait and see sucker.......

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          • 7 July 2011 15:15, by monykuc, Southerner

            Dear hard liner,

            Thanks for your comment. I am sure you are fool and coward by definition. The independence which will be celebrated in the next 48 hours is the collective achievements of all the Southerners. remember after the independence things will change from their full dimensions and anybody that has been doing malicious things inside the shield of the nut will face serious consequence.

            Well, am illerate Dinka who fought for the liberation of his people what about you. I have been saying that South Sudan must practice peaceful transfer of power from one government to another however, your critics will let Dinka rule you forever despite where he came from so long he will be Dinka.I know very well you are semi-illerate and i cannot argue with you on the realities.

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            • 7 July 2011 15:48, by hard liner

              Dear monykuc southerner,
              you are really a talking cow, this crazy world is transforming you cows into humans’’ God forbid’’ people of your kind should be exticted from the earth surface, urgly and useless am sure you were created by satan not God thats why you are self centred and talking of only you who liberated the south. If it could not be the equatorians who stood firm this movement SPLM/A could have not reached this far you useless social climber, i want you to stop your self centredness and focus on unity and development otherwise separation of south sudan will occur where the dinkas will rule their cows and the equatorians will rule themselves.
              Equatorians united......!!!

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              • 7 July 2011 16:02, by monykuc, Southerner

                hard liner

                haha, may you read again my comment whether i said Dinkas were the one that had liberated South Sudan. Why are you so emotional in simple things? Dinkas are known of being brave, nuer are known for being greed and ruthless, equatorians are known for being coward, gossiping and corruption.
                those are the realities.
                Try to change the mentality of being too critic and ignorance.

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  • 7 July 2011 10:11, by John Garang Dau

    Thank God finally!!!

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    • 7 July 2011 11:38, by Green is beautiful

      Dear Wanibuluk
      when exactly will this ideology evaporarte out of your mind just for asmall thing the name of Dinka (MOUNYJANG )is found every corner guys i think if you don’t want Dinka in south sudan please do what you want to eliminate us .this spla army ,even though they are iliterate they are the one bring for you independent which you are now sitting in buluk and write mother fucken words which are not good to bring for us unity ,i see no reason actually why the people who offer their blood to free you from the prison should treat like that .Wani, you yourself you lost no body in struggle if itis there ,maybe is the person sluaghter by Arab in Juba and he did not participate in the bush.please if you are told to join the army as educated you cann’t accept. in the history of south i know only two groups who offer their blood to free you (Nuer and Dinka) the total of two million who died in the war is only from these two tribe ,and you were just going up and down, you were green about what iliterate Dinka & Nuer were doing with Arab now a day you just come to help them of how to consume but you don’t know how it was produce.please i need you to stop that habit ,there is no need to promote hatred among ourselves.

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      • 7 July 2011 12:32, by Adam


        Please use polite language. Insults will only deteriorate the ethnic syndrome. Try to make your point clear and no need for bad names and language.

        You cannot merely claim that only Dinka and Nuer are the heroes and they are the only ones who fought and died for the South. You should not ignore the struggle of thousands of Nuba, Ingasana and northern warriors who joined Dr. Garang. You cannot nullify the brave stands of Mr. Kuku, Arman, Agar and many others.

        We salute them all. Mr. Kuku must be released to take part in celebration.

        Let us hate tribalism and work together to uproot it from our motherland.

        Adam Milawaki, Juba

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      • 7 July 2011 14:52, by Garang Lual

        Dear my brothers we have to accept the truth as Dinkas that, SPLA are not presenting image of South Sudan nation, if we are really concern about the interest of people of South Sudan secondly please brothers let us admit the truth for the sake of our coming generation not to be curse due to our ignorant, and gluttony of our corrupt leaders of today.
        Simple questions to my brothers:
        1) Can we deny that we dinkas are dominating SPLA although we are most illiterate within SPLA???, who I believe need medical surgery to change it to fulfil image of South Sudan in order to secure sustainable peace in South.
        2) Brothers can we deny that we are dominating not most but all supreme ministers position at the level of GOSS and above this our ministers level of corruption is the highest among their colleagues.
        3) Can we deny that our brothers are the most unqualified people who holds high grades at the level of GOSS civil service and ranking the first tribe in corruption record???
        4) Can we deny that our states are the most backward states within the ten state of South Sudan, lacking qualified people and even civil service system, and corruption rate are the highest??.
        5) Can we deny that our people are the most indolent community who don’t dig and reap from their sweat, just culture of depending on the corrupt brothers in the government, and illegal businesses??.
        So please brothers better to accept the disadvantages we have in our community start getting rid of them, than continuing in corruption and denial of the truth.

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        • 7 July 2011 15:52, by monykuc, Southerner

          Dear Garang Lual,

          Your comments are not in place for simple reason that you want to project Dinka as corrupt tribe among the other tribes of South Sudan. I know very well that minsterial positions are not the government according to my understanding of public service regulations and experience, all the constitutional post holders are subjected to change at any time. There is no accuse of the fact that we are backwardness in everything and that does not prevent us to work in public offices.

          The fact that corruption is very rampant in southern sudan is that you cann’t expect semi-illerate people with no quality education and they have been traumatized by war to be good managers.

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        • 8 July 2011 20:19, by True South Sudanese

          @Garang Lual,
          If you happen to read this comments again then,from your comment you claim to be a Dinka ,but we have clearly understood that you are a pure Equatorian,hiding under the name of Dinka simply b’se of your cowardice nature.For how long you coward Equatorians will you contiue to be crying in the names of Nuer and Dinkas?.Remember that crying to the top of your voice will not help.You either accept the facts or succumb to the situation simply.

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  • 7 July 2011 17:36, by Garang Lual

    I know very well that minsterial positions are not the government according to my understanding of public service regulations and experience’. Citation from monykuc, Southerner comment above he said.
    Comrade Monykuc, am sorry that you want to deny the facts I mentioned in my comment above, by showing the public that you are very, very ignorant more than any one expectation, by denying that ministerial posts are not the government. Please let me ask you a simple question and try to answer me as honest as you can: who are to be accountable for the rampant corruption and failure to deliver basic services in the government of the South Sudan? is it civil servants or the political gangs who enjoying committing corruption by utilizing powers they aquired??.
    Please comrade before rushing to make any comment you should asses your ideas first before committing such kinds of scandals, also try your best to stop culture of saying I know while you actually don’t know, in order to give yourself chance to learn

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    • 7 July 2011 17:40, by Garang Lual

      Sorry for repeating:
      ‘I know very well that minsterial positions are not the government according to my understanding of public service regulations and experience’. Citation from monykuc, Southerner comment above..
      Comrade Monykuc, am sorry that you want to deny the facts I mentioned in my comment above, by showing the public that you are very, very ignorant more than any one expectation, by denying that ministerial posts are not the government. Please let me ask you a simple question and try to answer me as honest as you can: who are to be accountable for the rampant corruption and failure to deliver basic services in the government of the South Sudan? is it civil servants or the political gangs who enjoying committing corruption by utilizing powers they aquired??.
      Please comrade before rushing to make any comment you should asses your ideas first before committing such kinds of scandals, also try your best to stop culture of saying I know while you actually don’t know, in order to give yourself chance to learn.

      repondre message

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