23rd May 2019
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The kind of army citizens want

Author: Staff | Published: 1 month ago

FILE PHOTO: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (C) attends a ceremony marking the thirty fourth anniversary of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) at the military headquarters in Juba, South Sudan May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jok Solomun/File Photo

The civilians have added their voice to calls for the need to professionalize a national army.

Several past reports carried out by UN agencies and humanitarian groups accuse the army of misconduct.

In the reports, some soldiers are said to have looted civilian property, raped women and girls as young as 12 years.

Some top government officials, including President Salva Kiir and defense minister Kuol Manyang Juuk have publicly stated that some of those who have been committing crimes are members of the national security, police and the SPLA now called SSPDF.

Besides, the new peace accord demands the leaders to train soldiers so that they will be able to conduct themselves properly as they execute their duties.

One of the mechanisms tasked with this role is the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board.

On Tuesday, it convened a meeting in which it asked the participants what kind of army they want.

“We want to see an army which is accountable to the citizens, accountable to their actions, not an army that commits crimes and walks free,” a woman called.

“We need to have a national army that protects the people, their property and defend the country against such a threat, but not endangering the life and property of people,” said a male youth.

“What we need to see in South Sudan is a professional army that knows what to do, educated and productive, ” another man said.

“We need an army that will not loot the citizens. We need an army that will not rap the citizens,” another female appealed.

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