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South Sudan’s army to adopt new name

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August 3, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Thursday resolved to change the name its army acquired during the liberation struggle days into a peoples’ defence force.

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

The decision on army change of name was reached at the end of the sixth Command Council Conference of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which ended with several resolutions.

The command council conference was held at the army’s general headquarters, located north of the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Officially opened by President Salva Kiir, also the army commander in chief, the conference discussed issues relating to the restructuring and transformation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Held under the theme, “Restructuring for Effective Transformation” the conference passed several resolutions and recommendations, including changing the SPLA’s name to South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

The council called for the establishment of two undersecretaries in the ministry of defence, adoption of proper strategic plan procedure for logistic and procurement, putting in place a clear policy for motivation and promotion in the army.

Capacity building in technology and technical requirement for the army personnel, provision of enough for pension scheme to enable soldiers starts a new life after retirement from military service, building defence institute of intelligence, were some of the resolutions and recommendation the council discussed during days of deliberations.

President Kiir said he wanted resolutions and the recommendations which were passed at the conference implemented without delay.

He, however, emphasized the fact that restructuring the SPLA into an effective army to international standard requires collective efforts, saying it was now time to start helping in the transformation process.

“As I said at the opening day that restructuring SPLA will not be an easy thing, I reiterate today that yes there are challenges which we shall face along the way but it is something we must not delay,” said Kiir, adding, “We must start now”.

According to South Sudanese leader, the system of recruitment into the military service must be reflective of all shades and faces of the country, stressing that selection should be done through a recommendation from the states with an equal share from all tribes.

South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk said developing a national defence capability remains a top priority and that government considers the building of a strong army as a key to achieving national control and cohesion.

The defence minister also used the occasion as an opportunity to highlight to the command the importance of reorganizing the army in order to provide security and protection in the young nation.

Juuk urged the South Sudanese army to be self-reliant by producing their own food instead of relying on country’s finance ministry.

(ST)

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  • 3 August 22:32, by Mr Point

    Changing the name of the army to "peoples’ defence force" is not enough.

    It is necessary to change the behaviour of this army which has acted as if its purpose is to make war on the people of South Sudan.

    Collective punishment,massacre, imprisonment, rape, torture, murder, theft, kidnapping .... these crimes of this army have all been reported internationally in the past two years

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    • 4 August 01:48, by dinkdong

      You said it all. What this army need is not the name, but discipline.

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    • 4 August 19:53, by Joyuma John

      Changing SPLA Name,I think is not a one man business , so dear president this process require all of us, not you alone with your army generals, remember and do not be surprised when this name come back after real leader take your your position.

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  • 3 August 22:54, by Nairobimitot

    Mayardit, Taban-Wani-Igga National Salvation Army of South Sudan.

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    • 4 August 01:37, by dinkdong

      What are you trying to say? Are you done writing essays? Maybe you should continue to long paragraphs for people to understand you.

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  • 3 August 23:06, by Dinka-Defender-General

    P. Kiir, what is the hurry? We should wait because they cost to replace the name is too much to afford right now. Take for instance, how much would will it cost to replace all the uniforms, supplies, flag, and many other necessary things? We should wait until we are stable and ready to pay the price. South Sudan People Defence Force SSPDF does not stand out like SPLA. Therefore, no need to replace

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    • 3 August 23:35, by South South

      I am OK with name changed as long as they will keep our country safe and go after rebels.

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      • 4 August 15:22, by jubaone

        South South,
        This is a jienge tribal army that is there to defend jienge interest and nothing to do with SS. SPLA is jienge, IO is predominantly Nuer, and NAS will be fully Equatorian, so who is the legitimate representative of SS? Dismantle this jienge army, get peace and all form a national army, not SPLAnyor

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        • 4 August 17:48, by South South

          jubaone,

          The head of NAS is a chief who stole SPLA money. Let me tell you this. Any rebel in South Sudan must sit down with South Sudan government to talk about peace. SPLA will be the only regular army in South Sudan and anyone who refuses that must go to DIASPORA like Eastern and jubaone, no games here.

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          • 4 August 19:12, by Eastern

            South South,

            That sounds childish and stupid! I am having a drink with some Mathiang Anyors here at Buaba in Gudele, Juba. Some part of Kajo Keji is out of Kiir’s hands. Tell me what happened non the Juba-Nimule road? Continue singing your ANATABAN...!!!

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            • 4 August 19:25, by South South

              Eastern,

              You are very stupid. Old man like you should not be taken seriously because your ideas are down. If you want to take Kajo Keji go for it and see what the men will do for you. Juab-Nimule road will be there forever. You will not step your foot to Juba unless you cowardly change your color. Real men are in Juba.

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  • 4 August 00:20, by john locke

    South south, they cant even keep the cpuntry safe rightnow. Do you think changing the name will make things different? Haha

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    • 4 August 02:31, by South South

      john locke,

      Read my comment again, I said I am OK with any name given to South Sudan army, that’s all what I said, but rebels lost everything including Pagak. They are fighting each other in Equatoria. There is nothing left to talk about rebels.

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  • 4 August 04:30, by Nairobimitot

    These messages go out to those who blame rebels. Do not blame the rebels. They do not know what they are doing, and they are not aware of their future, they do not know that there is a better life after years of depression and toxic thoughts. These rebels have abused themselves within their families and have chronic pain that is composed of emotional pain, physical pain, and psychological suffering. All of these pains have been accomplished and acquired through many difficult situations that they have experienced in the past including starvation after and for so many years of bad work. This one big problem is a number 1 issue that needs to be discussed continually in the debate. There are half of a million rebels in South Sudan; they have guns and weapons. These rebels know how to shoot guns but to whom are they fighting. They are now killing their brothers and sisters not because they are their enemies but because they are mentally disabled. They have the chronic disease that is based on psychological. The symptoms of this rebels’ disease are a common one, and it is evident, you can even see it in front of you, and that is your own choice to watch it or try to cure it. It covers itself with a black cloth written tribalism, and the rebels mindset and brains have many things that are elusive and unpredictable. Point 1, the government need to show good examples by improving the economy of the country so that the rebels are cured. Our goal is to make all the rebels to become good citizens again because what they are now thinking is unlivable and it is animalism. They are now practicing animalism, but they can become good citizens again if they are shown good examples. The government must work hard to by first figuring out what is wrong with the rebels so that whatever is driving them crazy is detained and brought back to normalization. I wish success for the government of South Sudan and the people of South Sudan. If the government want to succeed, they first must used military means to get rid of rebellions in the country. Must avoid civilians suffering. Must use diplomacy at the same time because the primary goal is to win back your lost heads and hands. Meaning you must win back all your people of South Sudan by all means because failure to win back your people and men will result in chaos. Somebody from outside the country such as foreigner will win them and use them for their benefits and purposes to build their nations outside the box. The government needs a lot of improvement starting from the military that is nationalistic. A country with the strong military will not only enjoy life, but also its citizens are going to enjoy life-based on the firm military that they have created and produced by their children. The active and strong military is always created and established for the survival of the nation, country and the people of that country. Failing to create a strong military power will result in someone taking your land and slave you in front of you and your children. And your people will be scattered and enslaved somewhere meaning your people will use their blood power and energy to build other nations outside the box.

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    • 4 August 10:21, by Mi diit

      Nairobi mitot in mind,

      You actually are mitot in brain as your name shows.
      Why don’t you look for a two months course right there in Nairobi so that you know the different between comment and article.
      Back: No matter what name is given to them, I.O would still find them anytime. Incompetent Kiir thinks changing name would confuse the world

      Thanks,
      Brig. Gen. Mi diit
      SPLA I.O

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      • 4 August 13:45, by Nairobimitot

        To Midiiit, Midit, Midit, MiDit, Dit, Dit, my article or whatever you call it is based on South Sudan traditional way of talking and discussing things if you do not know. Second, the SPLA name is going to change because you IO in Opposition do not like the name SPLA. So why complain now when we are going to have a new name for the army that will satisfy you the rebels. Third, I am sure you do not know that you are not Midit and many people in South Sudan do not know your name Midit. What people know is that you are always opposing and crying when you are in a bad situation. Look, I am trying to help you out by exposing your rebellion brains and what your structures are about, and you are still opposing. Don’t you know that anybody who opposes always have psychological problems? That is bad for your health because your behavior is going to be animalism and you will not even know what country you were born. Fourth, you are not Midit because you are always opposing, opposing, how can the government of South Sudan help those who do not want to help themselves? You are always opposing, what are you? Are you Midit or is it just the opposite? That is the question I will be happy to answer and have a debate and discussion about it. There is no prove that I am Mitot.

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  • 4 August 06:21, by conservative

    Look folks I’m not surprised by transforming our army which is easy thing to do but the Hart things is the country by itself needed to be transforming first cause look how they way people are living gosh it’s destruction where is our villages transforming talk about that first
    Conservative owyeee

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  • 4 August 06:34, by Tilo

    Why change the Name now when there is no unity in the country and no unity in the arm and the arm is so tribalist. That is even not suitable Name for South Sudan. SSPDF is a clear evident that SS is been governed by M7. Kiir is a disgrace to the people of SS walai. S. Sudan Army is a better name to me than SSPDF.

    Kiir you need to stop taking advise from JCE and M7, they are ruining SS

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    • 4 August 09:54, by Newsudan

      Tilo
      M7 is known wizard, he has bewitched Kiir Mayardit to do whatever he wants in South Sudan.last time, M7 told Kiir to use cluster bomb against rebels, now he has fatally attack people army.SPLA, Dr Garang legacy is at stake.

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  • 4 August 06:53, by Sunday Junup

    Now SPLAnyor Militia is changed to SSDF right? It make sence since I will never hear SPLA Oyeee anymore! Now remaining to have some one like Dr.Riak or Joseph Lagu to run this Country for interim period till election day. Bow the ball is to SPLA-IO to change their name too.

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  • 4 August 07:27, by Dalta Cirea

    SPLA Army Change the name to SSPDF mean that, they adopted the name that originate from Dr Machar Army name’s when SPLA spilit into two with Dr John Garang.Good news is that Dr Machar legacy will remain in SSPDF.

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  • 4 August 07:43, by Lenin Bull

    Congratulations President Kiir, Mr.Kuol Manyang, and Vice President Dr.James Wani Igga for six command Council conference and its good resolutions. As usual these good for nothing rebels will always criticise whatever initiative you take to lead our young country in the right direction. They are busy saying nonsense now but will crawl back tomorrow begging for positions in SSPDF. MORONS PERIOD.

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  • 4 August 07:49, by Lenin Bull

    Why haven’t Dr. Riek, Dr, Lam Akol, Dr.Iteng, Dr.Okuk, etc, ever come up with anything revolutionary that create a paradigm shift in our country so that people shun President Salva Kiir and his group if they are bad as alleged by IO? Same people criticize the SPLA/SPLM since its inception in July 1983 giving its negative connotations like Kraal movement, cattle camp revolution, jenge movement,

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  • 4 August 08:00, by Lenin Bull

    SPLA/SPLM is a Dinka madness reaching at its zenith, etc but where are we as a country now because of the very thing that was seen as bad at first? We are now free and proud and all tribes and persons want to claim credit for that glorious liberation struggle by SPLA/SPLM. It will be them same with SSPDF

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  • 4 August 11:46, by Mr President 2037

    congratulation mr. president Cde. Kiir Mayardit on new achievement. i am just wondering what SPLA-IO will do. are they going to be SSPDF-io. whatever their next move, people will look into it critically and realize that IO is "A MOVEMENT AGAINST SOVERIENTY OF SOUTH SUDAN" Riek and Riekites are done politically and military. its time for great Naath community to understands that cde. Riek is done.

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    • 4 August 12:42, by Newsudan

      Mr President
      Kiir Mayardit is now remote control of M7.why discarded SPLA and copycat Uganda army’s name, Kiir is weak and he compromise South Sudan sovereignty

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  • 4 August 12:43, by Mr. Right

    ".......the system of recruitment into the military service must be reflective of all shades and faces of the country, stressing that selection should be done through recommendation from the states with equal share from all tribes."

    If you had realized quicker the important of diversity, we won’t be in a mess by now. What a disgrace we’ve shameful leaders!!

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  • 4 August 14:55, by deng

    Yes, it will better for changing the name of SPLA but when will the government change the SPLM? we are under government of Sudan that needs to liberated

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  • 4 August 15:46, by Kush Natives

    Tracing the name of the SPLA into something else will not definitely change the idealistic of the current conflict. I suggested this change to occur after 2018 election. Non of this these aren’t just working. I wouldn’t consider it. First and foremost, those who have lost their legitimate life aren’t compensated yet.

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    • 4 August 15:57, by Kush Natives

      SPLM under President Salva Kiir MUST compensate the innocent soldiers who their lives before such nonsense happened. President Salva Kiir MUST compensate these first, otherwise the change will not take effect from the very people, because SPLA/M did not start from the scratch.

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