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Military ranks delay graduation of unified forces

By Atimaku Joan/ Chany Ninrew

Military ranks arrangement and retirement benefits are the reasons for delay of graduation of unified forces in the country, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said.

Speaking to Juba Monitor in a phone interview, the SSPDF Spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang revealed that the delay in harmonization of the military high command and many ranks within the opposition forces, lack of retirement benefits as well as financial crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic complicated the program.

“Talking about the harmonization of forces, we in SSPDF are already organized with our formation, the only problem we have had is that the oppositions have so many ranks that have not been harmonized, so we told them look, for you to qualify to this joint service you must get in to professional military formation in your command,” said Lul.

He added that any forces which are contributed by SPLA-IO or other opposition armies require proper military formation with the right manpower and right servicemen in command.

“They have not yet put their ranking system in order, when they put this in order; they have to put forward the names that they have proposed to the Chief of Defense Forces who will in turn forward them to the President for approval.

We only hope that the officers are identified and confirmed in time so that they are transported to the forces they will command,” Lul stated.

According to Maj. Gen. Lul, the military could not retire military servicemen due to the financial challenges.

 “The problem with retirement is that we don’t have the benefits of retirement in place, so if these service men and women are retired, what will they go home with,” he concluded.

The Deputy military Spokesperson of SPLA-IO Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said there was no agreed date for the graduation yet because the President has not responded to the structure which is already signed by the Joint Defense Board.

“We are yet waiting for the President to approve the structure,” said Col. Lam.

He said they were only waiting for the President’s decision.

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