Home | News    Thursday 25 August 2011

U.S. Africom commander starts a visit to South Sudan


August 24, 2011 (JUBA) – The Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Carter F. Ham arrived in South Sudan capital of Juba for talks on the government’s strategy to boost internal security in the newly established state.

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JUBA, South Sudan - General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, arrives in Juba, South Sudan and is received by Major General Thomas Mogga Cerillo of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, August 24, 2011 (Africom website)

South Sudan officially seceded from the rest of Sudan last month and countries around the world were quick to recognize the new nation.

North and South Sudan fought more than two decades of civil war that ultimately ended through a U.S. brokered peace deal which gave Southerners the right of self determination.

But daunting challenges are facing South Sudan, particularly the outbreak of several rebellions as well as tribal clashes.

Last week around 600 people were killed and hundreds other wounded in fighting that erupted between Murle tribe and the Lou-Nuer tribe.

In his meeting with Africom commander, President Salva Kiir commended the role being played by the US in facilitating peace and security to the people of South Sudan, according to a statement on the government’s website.

Kiir called for Washington’s help in building the military capacity of South Sudan.

Gen. Ham said in a press statement that the meeting discussed principle topics on military partnership between the two countries.

He added the partnership would provide the armies in both states a framework for close collaboration in addressing the security concerns in the future.

The military official described the meeting with President Kiir as great and productive and disclosed that appropriate action resulting from the meeting will be taken soon.

Africom chief also presented to Kiir a symbol of military partnership between the in form of silver Jar.


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  • 25 August 2011 09:50, by John Gum

    Great president Kiir,keep that spirit to know your country future.


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    • 25 August 2011 10:51, by Kawaja Mikis

      Well done job, President Kiir, now Republic of South Sudan is hopping for the good achievement of the new nation. We need strong army to protect our nation.

      God be with you all the time.

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      • 25 August 2011 16:32, by Ahmed Chol

        Thomas Cirilo is a good man. I watched one of the documentaries where he talked and he is knowledgeable about lots of things.

        Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger ends in shame

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        • 26 August 2011 00:08, by Muorter Majok

          I totally agree with you on that assessment.

          His heroic actions during the war for independence are legendary. A highly respected General with an extensive combat experience is a a true asset to South Sudan.

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      • 25 August 2011 22:35, by Sir Bleak

        Good news for good step forward, we need such a partnership so that our fearless army should be up to international standard at all aspect of military, but let US not Meddle into our internal affairs, because they are best at building dictators, something that we don’t want to happen in this country.
        Sir Bleak the analyst.

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    • 25 August 2011 14:47, by Chuut

      Welcome aboard mr commander. It is time that you share in uplifting and building this nation.
      A piece of advice with a little economical help can usher the ties and visions alittle mile further.

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    • 25 August 2011 17:42, by DeltaBravo

      I think Thomas Cirlo is good to be defense Ministry.

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    • 25 August 2011 23:27, by padiit gaga

      Weldone U.S military commander, for your visiting of southsudan, as you said there is no security in south many civillains dei there are nepotism and corruption in south.

      Main problem is that our country is lead by blind president, he lead us to fall in rubbish ,or well. In the world a blind president should not lead the country his job should be dishes washer.

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  • 25 August 2011 10:09, by Bol Akoch Buoi

    excellence work, there is no man Island in this century, no country alone, military coorporation, military partnership and economics must be forged for the benefit of both country.

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  • 25 August 2011 10:11, by Rich Dinka

    US should give more trainings to our SPLA soldiers so that thy can defense South Sudan and contribute in NATION BUILDING.

    Bravo president Kiir for connecting South Sudan to outside world.

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  • 25 August 2011 10:22, by The world is watching us

    If we as Southerners wish to have a strong military, we must first remove politics when it comes to the defense of our people/interest... The new defense minister (if we wish to have a strong military) should either be Koul Manyang Juk, or Salva Mathok Gengdit; men who the REAL army actually listen to; not men appointed because of reverse tribalism: our defense should go to the most qualified not tribal accommodation....

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    • 25 August 2011 11:09, by pabaak

      this is a welcoming development, we need to have special forces which are becoming important these days because of their effectiveness and efficiency in the combat zones,this one area southern Sudan army will be benefited from their counterpart,the US Army.

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    • 25 August 2011 11:55, by Logic

      Don’t get ahead of yourselves people.

      The US has been helping the SPLA for the last 5 or 6 years but the SPLA is still severely under trained, equipped and skilled to meet the challenges of a modern day army.

      Military cooperation is good but S. Sudan should balance the mutual benefits of such partnerships and if possible tip it in its favor. The US does not need military assistance from the new nation but they sure need something, more than likely some kind of natural resource so it would be advisable that S. Sudan should get the best value for whatever any foreigner wants from its rich land.

      Remember the US military is nothing but an extension of politics by other means and a tool for US geopolitical strategies. Tread carefully South Sudan, the US is not just another country, its an Empire.

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    • 25 August 2011 12:01, by harry

      The real minister of defense should be no other than the man who received the U.S Africom Commander, Thomas Cirilo. Because of his military background, Cirilo have the experiences and qualifications for this job. Cirilo is a soldier by profession such as late Col. John Garang. Manyang and Mathok could make the list, but I believe Thomas Cirlio have the advantages over them based on his combats leadership he demonstrated over the years in both SPLA and SAF. Thanks


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    • 25 August 2011 12:10, by jamuse

      Who is mathok?. He looted money four years ago. Who will appoint him again. or is it family government because is elder brother to Salva Kiir wife( Ayen Geng). Kuol manyang also is caused of numerous killing in Jonglei and he become more corrupted.He did well during Struggle, but, Now mind of Gurush( money ) spoiled him.Look what he did in Bor.

      What defense he will do and he cannot control one state leave alone vast country .
      leave him alone and bring in new patriotic who will not look after monney but, welfare of his people.Keep them away from that post.People are now suffering under Kuol umbrella like wise,Issue of land acquisition,high taxation practised to river navigators from Malakal to Bor which cause prices of the commodities to climb higher and insecurity in the whole state.He only think at night on how to win game of private bussiness than government affairs.


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      • 25 August 2011 15:43, by Nhomlawda


        Defense Minister is a junior position to a Governor. Unless it is a confused government, governor Kuol Manyang cannot be removed from his position to be made a defense minister. That will be a demotion which no one can do.

        Governorship is an elected position senior to ministerial appointees of the President.

        In a country like Nigeria, it is the governors who chose the presidential candidate for the ruling party.

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    • 25 August 2011 16:06, by akot

      good Job president Kiir, but u need to change defense minister.

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  • 25 August 2011 10:54, by Mzalendo Mwema

    Dear President and all south sudanese,

    Think of insecurity

    Equip our police morden weapons to deter raiders in every corner of SOUTH SUDAN.98% of South Sudan’s weakness comes from catte rustling and you mr.president together with your team must do something about it.Work on it now before it is tooooooooooooo late,Sir.

    Request all peace loving nations to help you with HELICOPTERS now.

    We all need helicopters to deter those criminals.Sending troops without helicopters won’t stop it.We need troops plus helicopters this time.They must be disarmed as reconciliatory team is doing its part.If there are no helicopters.

    Try to ask those questions now

    Where can you get them?
    When will South have them?
    Why do you need them for?
    What if South does not have them?

    Ignoring that situation will give Lam Akol ajagwin a room.
    He might be there who knows.
    It will give North Sudan the upper hand( victory).
    Ignoring it now will proof those who say ’South Sudan will be another Somalia right’.If South Sudan fails then it will start in Jonglei State.It will start axactly the way it is and burst up like a BOMB.This is the right time to take everything serious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..being it word or emotion or phsical language.

    Helicopters are the right things to use when dealing with cattle raiders

    1.Because helicopters can bomb them
    2.Can trace them.
    3.chase them up to their villages.
    4.Will be less expensive in term of life lost on the soldiers’ side.
    5.Will be an example to other raiders across South Sudan including REBELS because Athor or Lam uses those rustlers to tarnish the image of the whole South Sudan or SPLA/M.

    Using them will stop cattle rustling once and for all.Because cow is too big to be put into the pocket or hide it in the bush.They raid cows and spend two or three days before reaching their destinations.They raid many herd of cattle which always more than 30,000 cows.

    The question is "Would they manage to hide all these cows in one bushy forest or not?".If the answer is NO NO NO.Why not SSP(South Sudan Police doesn’t use them)?

    How many days can helicopters spend before finding them?

    Remember,chasing criminals with mere guns is more risky more traditional.The weapons of morden world are

    1.Cars mounted with rockets.

    And South Sudan must have them and know how to use them effectively and efficiently.

    South Sudan is being challenged in every corner and SHE MUST WAKE UP.SHE MUST CONFRONT all these challengs with brave and courage.

    Why does South Sudan look inferior when it is Superior?
    GOSS,GET TEN HELICOPTERS for ten states if South Sudan can’t afford fifty HELICOPTERS NOW to provide PROTECTION to our civil Population.

    Thanks to H.E Salva KIIR
    Thanks to H.E Riek MACHAR
    Thanks to all Southerners

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    • 26 August 2011 00:35, by Dr. Pan Yam

      Dear Mwema,

      I agree with you Mwema about the insecurity that helicopter should be a solution and a priority now since this rustling is a non-stopping problem. Lastly, I would give Kiir a credit on the national defense that he is focus on. We have Abiei, Blue Nile, etc but we must not kill ourselves one by one like what happened last week. We must as a nation agree on the disarmament then continue nation building as we agree to have our own nation.

      Dr. Pan Yam

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  • 26 August 2011 04:59, by Saba Saba

    Yeap that’s what South Sudan needs. We need well trained,well equipped conventional army to fulfil the required tasks and duties of being an army, well disciplined army that will protect civilians with due respect for humanity and human rights values.

    The generals in the South Sudan have to relinquish their culture of corruption and pay the army on time. The Army is the backbone of any nation.

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  • 26 August 2011 09:12, by Kariuki

    I totally agree with you.
    South Sudanese people and their leaders need to know one thing: the US does NOT help other countries out of love and affection. It is out of pursuing their own interests. This is not unique to US; every country helps another for selfish interests. Period.
    So, the question is: what would make the US send a top gun like Gen Ham? Answer: The US has been shopping for somewhere to base their Africa Command (AFRICOM) in the continent. But it is the belief of many African nations that that facility would distort the balance of power in the region as well as attract attacks from Islamist extremists. It would make a country a legitimate target for groups like Al Qaeda. No African country has allowed the US to do this despite numerous incentives offered by Washington.
    That is why up to today, AFRICOM is based in Germany.
    AM afraid Gen Ham might be exploring the option of setting base in South Sudan. I could be wrong, however.

    The main source of insecurity, like Mzalendo Mwema says, is INTERNAL, not external from Khartoum or other neighbouring states.
    If the US is sincere, they would not allow South Sudan to acquire heavy weaponry and other costly military toys. This money can be well spent providing much-needed basic services like schools, hospitals, paying civil service, revamping the security sector and most importantly roads.
    But of course the US foreign policy is also heavily influenced by the Military Industrial Complex and following the recession, they are shopping for new markets for the weapons. And what better customer than s new state with a perceived bad neighbor?

    Again, I could be wrong...

    Let the US assist South Sudan to deal with internal insecurity caused by cattle raiding, revenge attacks and inter-clan animosities. Let them build roads. Let them train CIVIL police. Let them assist in downsizing the SPLA to a smaller but better trained and discplined force. Let them keep applying pressure to Khartoum to stop financing militia in South Sudan. Let them assist in better and more peaceful methods of disarming civilians.

    This is the way forward.

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