South Sudan

Garang son: We’ll have one national army




South Sudan rebel chief, opposition led by Riek Machar, has pronounced itself on the issue of security and position regarding power sharing arrangements in the interim period.

According to Mabior Garang De Mabior (Chairperson) National Committee for Information and Public Relations, the son of South Sudan founder, Dr John Garang, the opposition deemed it necessary to clarify on “a couple of issues being distorted by our detractors”.

“It  has  come  to  the  attention  of  the  leadership  of  the  SPLM/SPLA  that  our  position  is  being misrepresented by our detractors; misleading the public and by so doing, jeopardizing the peace process.”

Mabior says the detractors allege that the SPLM/SPLA wants to have two armies in the Republic of South Sudan, and that the SPLM/SPLA sole objective is to negotiate Dr. Riek Machar into power.

“The  SPLM/SPLA  would  like  to  categorically  refute  these  allegations  and  make  clear  to  the public what the position of the Movement is with regard to these issues: The SPLM/SPLA is in favor of a separation of forces during the interim period; within which the various forces shall be amalgamated and constituted into a professional, national, standing army.”

He said the SPLM/SPLA  believes  “this  is  necessary,  as the  Administration  of  Salva  Kiir  has  failed dismally to transform the former guerilla units into a professional, national, standing army; as is  mandated  by  the  Transitional  Constitution  of  the  Republic”.

“This in actual fact means that there is no army, and this has been admitted by the (former) Chief of General Staff, and (current) Minister of Defense of the Salva Kiir Administration.”

The opposition clarified that it  does  not  subscribe  to  the  idea  of  having  two  national  armies  for  the  Republic; however,  integration  is  untenable  in  light  of  the  fact  that  there  is  no national army.

The SPLM/SPLA contention is that the peace process provides the best opportunity for the Republic of South Sudan to build a professional, national, standing army from the various armed groups across the country.

The Movement; in addition, would like to clarify our position regarding to power sharing.

The SPLM/SPLA  assured  the  public  that the  Movement  is  not  seeking  power  for  the  sake  of  negotiating  Dr.  Riek Machar into power, as “misleadingly presented by our detractors”.

The Movement  is  negotiating  in  Addis  Ababa  for  political  and  security  sector reforms;  and  for accountability, said Mabior.

“The contention of the SPLM/SPLA is that the power which shall implement the reforms negotiated with our partners in peace must be shared.”

“The  SPLM/SPLA felt  it  prudent  to  clarify  these points in  light  of  the  negative  propaganda fabricated by our detractors, which the Movement is certain could jeopardize the peace process.”

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