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US to assist South Sudan army in building defence capacity

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October 10, 2011 (JUBA) – The United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) has initiated a dialogue with South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF) in order to raise its capacity as a professional army, according to South Sudanese officials.

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Sudanese soldiers march in Juba, South Sudan, in 2008 (all voices)

SSAF is the new name of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the former guerrilla army that fought against north Sudan for more than two decades until a peace agreement ending the war was signed in 2005.

The peace deal paved the way for South Sudan’s independence which was declared in July this year.

A delegation of the Pentagon met on Monday with senior officials at South Sudan’s ministry of defence and SSAF to agree on the modalities of the dialogue.

Majak Agot, South Sudan’s deputy minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, said in a press release after the meeting that the US will work with South Sudan to raise the capacity of the SPLA as a professional army.

Agot further added that the issues of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) among others related to democratic governance and human rights were also discussed.

In August 2009, the DOD revealed its intention to assist in the SPLA’s "transition from a guerrilla force to one that can provide adequate defense capabilities for its people and territory,"

"Professional military education and training for officers and enlisted personnel is one key aspect; an air defense capability might be relevant," DOD spokeswoman Lt. Colonel Almarah Belk said.

Meanwhile, SSAF’s Chief of General Staff, James Hoth Mai, confirmed in a separate statement that the disarmament process in South Sudan was progressing well in the three states of Warrap, Lakes and Unity states, saying that a good number of guns were already collected during the one month exercise.

According to local officials 3,299 guns have been from Warrap State’s Tonj East County alone.

(ST)

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  • 12 October 2011 08:18, by Runrach

    It is indeed one of the good initiative for both DOD and SSAF to strengthening their muscles in building SSAF military capacity.

    It really make sense and to conclude, the former SPLA gorilla is capable in term of depence but mentally and psychologically they need to be orientated such that they should their role limit as well as their citizens.Otherwise they were threat to the publics/civilian

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    • 12 October 2011 11:16, by Superior Junubi

      Thats what we have been waiting for. Air defense is the favorite offer we can expect from USA. NCP is dominating the whole Sudan and even robbing us with our own oil because they have capacity to bomb our ground forces and their tanks.

      Cattle raids could be easily prevented if we have Police Helicopters that can locate the raiders from the air and deal with them!!!

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    • 12 October 2011 11:22, by Superior Junubi

      Thats what we have been waiting for. Air defense is the favorite offer we can expect from USA. NCP is dominating the whole Sudan and even robbing us with our own oil because they have capacity to bomb our ground forces and their tanks.

      Cattle raids could be easily prevented if we have Police Helicopters that can locate the raiders from the air and deal with them!!! We need AIR FORCE!!!!!!!!!

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    • 13 October 2011 00:51

      O God help our blind president!

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  • 12 October 2011 08:48

    by Bona
    that is a good move from US to assist and build SSAF capacity so that it can be transfer in to a professional army,we needs help from our friends so that we can be ready to defend our border i can say that is a goood initiative mr Majak ask more help from others who are willing to help us so that our men and women in uniform can get better train job weldone

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  • 12 October 2011 09:29

    This is WRONG priority!

    First mop up the over 2.5million SALWs in civilian hands before you can talk about ’modernising’ the army. And while we are at it, modernizing the SPLA MUST involve scaling down scaling down the force size to something less than 100,000.

    The biggest threat to security in South Sudan is INTERNAL, not external!!!

    Doesn’t anyone at US DOD get it????

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  • 12 October 2011 11:01, by john c malow

    America has done her part and is still doing her part to south sudan so I appreciate that to train the ssaf and defferentiate between police and the army so that every unit should know her duty in the country

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  • 12 October 2011 11:23, by The Rock

    Modernizing the SPLA is a must. Modern warfare is not only pulling the trigger of an AK47. Enough with the rankers. The US has to train the new SSAF officers in their military colleges.

    in the interim, What SSAF needs urgently is an effective air defence that will deter the adventures of its nothern neighbour.

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  • 12 October 2011 11:26, by Shamaaaaaa

    Mind, the US does not do any thing for free. It is now clutching at a straw financially, and naive countries like Southsudan are an easy prey for back home financial solution. Watch,in a few years to come you will recieve abill that will last generations. Stop commenting frivilously, think critically. In fact, frivolity and medicrity are the main characters of Southsudan through its people.

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    • 12 October 2011 12:14, by Kurmuk

      Shamaaaa
      Name calling South Sudanese just reflects the sad state you are in. South Sudan is a free nation and need no lecture from some clown by the name of Shamaaa.

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    • 12 October 2011 12:19, by Superior Junubi

      To Shamaaaa,

      When you don’t have something, and you want to get it, it won’t be free. We are absolutely back when it come to technology. So we must pay those who can help us build our total air defense. THIS IS A FACT: NO COUNTRY OR ANY BODY HAVE EVER WON A WAR OR DEFEACT HIS ENEMY WITHOUT AN AIRFORCE!!! Belief it or not. You need a bird eye view to get a full controll of your enemy.

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    • 12 October 2011 12:48, by Davidson De Kuol

      SPLA and US DOD must join effort to curm terrorism and COunter Terrorism.

      SPLA need moral disicipline and Militarily tactics with modern weapon not AK47. We should support Peace in African Countries not US to SUpport them. We capable and SPLA is just organize and needs some orientation on RIghts and CIvilian Protection strategies.

      We shall provide our Troop to protects Civilians in Blue Nile

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    • 13 October 2011 06:12, by Shamaa

      @ Kurmuk and Superior junubi, I am not from northernsudan, I am from Southsudan and I live in Australia, and my name is Biar. I was not commenting like I am against Southsudan and its people. I was just stating that the US is now in financial crisis, and it is striking creepy deals to get money from babe or foundling nations like southsudan, which are in a fool paradise.

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  • 12 October 2011 12:32, by BOTH NGUOT

    CHARITY BEGIN AT HOME
    congratulation to DOD for supporting SSAF in building defense capacity as a professional army, south Sudan at this time need a educated and young people to be recruited in army so that they can be able to control the national security of the country and disarming the illegal army in the hand of civilian.
    congratulation to defense ministry for disarming process.

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  • 12 October 2011 13:46, by Wen Tek

    Dear friends ,
    The US offer to train our army to be professional is a welcome development.But Iam sure some illiterate generals may feel the effect of it because they are likely to be negatively affected.The Ministry of Defense must properly screen the officers before sending them for such trainings,otherwise the ones who will not get anything from the trainings might be selected.Watch out!

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    • 13 October 2011 12:24, by BOTH NGUOT

      QUALITY BUT NOT QUANTITY
      The numbers of SSAF is too big but the educated personal are less than 30% so we can not blame the uneducated one because they didn’t get chance because of struggle. What the government should do now is to open a military school so that at least 50% of these soldiers can get education.
      Let the defense minister selection the educated officers and sent them for training.

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  • 12 October 2011 15:35, by james_kuoi

    SPLA still has the old for the new nation defence as well as committment need your proposal and support on this issues.

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  • 13 October 2011 05:56, by Acuil Deng

    We in the ROSS still depend on our neighbors including "Sudan", when comes to feeding our people. We need to cultivate and invest into our land, build efficient infrastructure, and build more schools, hospitals and create a functioning health care for all our people, before spending huge amount of money on "weaponry".
    We are a nation starting from scratch, we better spend our money wisely.

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  • 18 April 2013 14:51, by dennishobson

    aS1Vqzz6pNnypK3QL0tjD4fKNiFT33ssanyong madeira plastica composite decking very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

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