Home | News    Saturday 24 September 2011

South Sudan plans to disarm 150,000 soldiers from security forces


By Ngor Arol Garang

September 24, 2011 (JUBA) — The government of the Republic of South Sudan on Friday unveiled plan targeting 150,000 soldiers to be removed from the active military and police services.

General Madut Biar Yel, minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, takes questions from Journalists 23,2011 in Juba (photo by Ngor Garang-ST)

UN regional coordinator for South Sudan, David Gressly, estimated in June 2011 that the SPLA had between 150,000 and 200,000 soldiers, and that "probably more" than half should be demobilized after secession.

The UN officials said the SPLA absorbed different groups since the signing of the 2005 peace agreement and stressed that a small army can be better professionalized and disciplined.

"We are targeting 80000 from Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and 70000 from other armed forces which are police, prison service, fire brigade, wild life and other armed security organs to be demobilized," said Major General Madut Biar Yel, Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, in a briefing to the media shortly after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Council of Ministers in Juba on Friday.

Yel, who was speaking as acting minister of information and broadcasting, said the decision was part of the government policy in line with provision of the 2005 peace deal which requires the government of South Sudan to reduce the size of its army and to make it professional.

The senior government official said under the 2005 peace accord known as Comprehensive Peace Agreement which the ended the over two decades long civil war between the north and south, both sides agreed to reduce their armies by 90,000 soldiers each. However, the program in the south was faced with a lot of challenges including logistics and financial resources to execute the process.

He underlined that 90,000 combatants are supposed to be demobilized from the former rebel movement into civilian life by 2012 as it was agreed in 2007. Actually only about 10,000 soldiers were removed from active military services.

"This is far beyond the target. The target was 90,000 soldiers," he said.
Officials including William Deng Deng, chairperson of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration commission have often cited challenges facing the process, some of which include administrative issues.

Earlier minister Yel said the council also received a report on expansion of Juba International Airports to 700 meters and upgrading of the run way into full international land site by both domestics and international airlines.

The weekly cabinet was chaired by acting president Riek Machar Teny. Teny is also the vice president of the government of south Sudan.


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  • 24 September 2011 09:14, by Bush

    Most of those are militias and others joined the SPLA after the CPA that’s why they failed to protect Abyei and other areas. Too many ghost names too.

    • 24 September 2011 13:23, by Space

      That decision has advantages and disadvantages as well, but disavantages underscore advantages which is a danger to security of a nation. first, we have huge number of soldiers who have lost their physical ability of combat and this made them vulnerable to withstand any acts of agressions. They may have the will, as obvious, but they have no ability to do it. that may justify the decision. But again, if we are to mobilised that force, we must have recruitment drive as well to fill up the gap. I doubt we have peace in the Country, let alone Khartoum alone but other interest groups are our potential enemy. Therefore, it is really significance to even increase the force. secondly,disarming these soldies requires huge plans of pensions and sustainables plans in place otherwis they will fall in hands of discontented groups or become criminals. Without sustainable plans, it will be like putting a region into chaos again.

    • 24 September 2011 13:43, by Cuei Rooi

      when did the ministry of telecommunication and postal services became the ministry of defense?mr yel should know better,how in the world would a mere guy from telecommunications turn and address issues concerning militarily services.this is ridiculousness.why don’t you sit your ass in your office then delivering uncoordinated messages.

    • 26 September 2011 05:14, by redlight

      i think that ,s good idea to reduces the number of army, but you have to make buget for retirement or creat civil jobs to put those who were been struggling during the war other wish it will bring the problem, if the GOSS use their short vision in this issue.

  • 24 September 2011 09:19, by MINDED.DUDE

    Disarming SPLA soldiers or reducing their number before Abyei region rejoined south sudan is stupidity from SPLA generals including Salva kiir president.
    Think Tank have to approve this move.

  • 24 September 2011 09:36, by belle loboi

    this man does not know what he is enumerating about to the society as whole in South Sudan, we need to translate him in Dinka dialect language.

  • 24 September 2011 09:40, by belle loboi

    we need more armies in order for us to be strong not after money (Quote from Belle)

    • 25 September 2011 11:38, by Gabriel KK

      You don’t what you are talking about, currently 50 percent of the army are Nuers and that’s the reason as to why you are supporting this moved by SPLA official. we want few coompetent soldiers not big numbers of incompetent Nuer’s militias.

  • 24 September 2011 10:25, by whatsayyou

    My Dear friends.

    Rducing the number of soldiers only is not the solution, government must do every serious assessment to identify untrain, unability and those who are recruited by their relatives.After assessment then replacement with competent poeple e.g young and must be in secondary school level.

  • 24 September 2011 14:45, by Alier42

    The first thing you need to do ,is to reduce the size of your goverment than the size arms forces ,and later on follow by arms forces.the like of Madut should out of goverment,he was rejected by his own people when he was a governor,what is he doing?.it is well known that, you had been kept in the goverment by your father -in-law .who is a chief advisor to the president and he always threaten the president .if Madut is not appointed as a minister he can quite his role in the goverment.

  • 24 September 2011 15:53, by Gogrialboys

    "Guys, it is not a matter of having million army that matter, it is the quality and professionalism of the army that matter to the nation." I know many of you are worried of North aggressiveness towards the Southsudan, but that threats cannot be face with poor and ill-equip army like ours. Our government, need to streamline the army in order to defend our sovereignty.

    Thanks to those who think it is not the right time to reduce our army, but I know the government might have the reason of reducing the number of the army. I think insecurity we have here in Southsudan, might be due to high rate of illegal possessions of guns in the hands of civilians, and also with the ill-trained army that had never went to a boot camp for training. So my dear friends of the South, let’s wait and see what will this excercise of reducing the army do, and also hope to see change in the army behavior.

    • 24 September 2011 20:35, by Abyei Soil

      Thanks to all friends of mind who commented here, I ’ve read through many of your comments and is interesting many of you agreed to the quality not quantity of army.

      Our beloved South Sudan will soon be a country in need in Africa I assured you that though we still have a tribalism and severe backwordness of our society but I personally killed my tribal mind very earlier, did you do the same? If you want like I want to be friends, Please feel to join me at facebook.com/abyeis.

      Cutting the size of the army is very admirable move which appeared to some other people as a problem to the country but what matters alot on the ground is how best the army is to handle the issue in a technical manner that will reflect the strength and powerfull wings of the country.

      Take an example from the Jews security personale, all the armours one carry plus khaki is really show how far the Jews nation reached and that’s why they resisted their immediate enemies. It is the same thing here with us, professional army is one that can be created I always see our young boys and girls her capable for defending their country if well trained and these are the people we wants. I always refer to young South Sudanese because this chance is for them and the country is also young like them too.

      Our country anyway is not yet get to stable conditions but hope to be is there. Keeping and having large size of the army is very dangerous to the economy of the country in that it raise the volume of money in circulation through access salaries of soldiers. And this will automatically resulted into inflation where currency become valueless which is a severe situation to economy.

      For those of you who suggest that the ministry of defence should not restrain more disarmament you are right but there is a need to take those who offer themselves as the country’s special boys and girls for defence and willing to defend their country in absence of drugs influences like alcohol and many other illegal drugs.

      And willing also to represent their country internationally like taking them up country to AU mission for example since we are already a members of African Union and willing to respects the rule of law internationally as well as internally as a professional soldier of South Sudan.

      Thanks all.

      • 24 September 2011 23:04, by Koang

        To: All fools and wises.
        Be informed that the person by the name (Dinka Dominated SPLA) is not a southerner at all!
        Thank you for your understanding.

      • 26 September 2011 05:55, by redlight

        that,s good idea to do screanig for army, but you have to be very careful before started it, use the good way to be understood by those who were struggling during the war make retirement services or creat civil job to employ them.

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    RAyVinQD5nFfhuSvokMFBd23OsIxxkssanyong madeira plastica composite decking Would you be interested in exchanging links?

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