14,000 SPLA-IO forces selected for unified forces
By Kidega Livingstone
At least 14,000 Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) forces have been selected for unified forces, said SPLA-IO Deputy Spokesperson, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel.
Speaking to journalists on his last press conference in Juba recently, Col. Lam admitted that the selected forces were from all the SPLA-IO cantonment sites across the country.
“Forces meant for unified national security and the national Army for immediate deployment have been selected and are ready to be sent for training,” Col. Lam told journalists.
“Fourteen thousands SPLA-IO forces for the first phase of the training have been selected and five thousands national security forces. First, we want to see that they are deployed immediately, so within this month they will do something about these forces that have been selected,” he added.
Col. Lam said the selected forces were from SPLA-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) adding SPLA-IO has the biggest number at all the cantonment sites.
The registration was closed on the 30th of September, 2019. Forces meant for the registration in phase two have been directed to move to the cantonment sites by Dr. Riek Machar, the Commander-In-Chief of the SPLA-IO during his last visit to Juba on 10th September, 2019 to enable inclusivity, training and deployment of the necessary unified forces.
According to Col. Lam, 1,500 forces meant for Very Important Persons (VIP) protection have started assembling in the nearby cantonment sites in Juba waiting for the transfer to the training centers where they will go and meet with their counter part from SSPDF and SSOA.
The fourteen thousands (1400) forces were purely for SPLA-IO, one thousand (1,000) forces are for South Sudan Opposition Alliance [SSOA] and one thousand five hundred (1,500) forces will come from SSPDF that will make a total of three thousands (3,000) VIP forces,” said Col. Lam.
Col. Lam said the general security in the country in general is normal and the permanent ceasefire is holding because of the trust between the SPLA-IO and SSPDF.