National News

SPLA day celebrations cancelled due to financial constraints

Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang   (Juba Monitor File photo)

By Morris Dogga

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) did not hold public celebration of the 35th anniversary of the SPLA Day yesterday due to the economic crisis in the country.

The Army Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang told Juba Monitor in a phone interview that “there was no public celebration of the SPLA day due to financial constraints.”

On his message broadcasted over the state owned television (SSBC-TV), President Salva Kiir who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA called on the army to persevere the current situation.

“The message I want to give to our army is that we have come a long way. So whatever problem that we are facing now should not really shatter the feelings of our fighters,” Kiir said.

“Things are difficult but they were much more difficult than what we are experiencing today. Let everybody remember the sacrifice that have been made by our martyrs,” he added.

Kiir also paid tribute to those who lost their lives without enjoying the fruits of their sacrifice.

“I want to thank our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation they did not enjoy. Let us work hard so that their sacrifices do not go in vain,” Kiir said.

The SPLA commemorates its 35th anniversary celebrating the formation of the then rebel movement on 16 May 1983-now the present South Sudan Defense Force.

The formation of the SPLA in 1983 started the Second Sudanese Civil War. Throughout the war, it was led by John Garang. The second civil war in Sudan lasted for 21 years and led to the loss of over two million lives and displaced millions more that led to the independence of South Sudan.

The country became independent in 2011 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the 21year old civil war in 2005.

On 16th May, 1983, a group of soldiers from the Sudanese army’s 105 garrison in the Bor area were mutinied. The mutiny was followed by 104 garrisons in Ayod, Akobo and Pachalla later.

The defection of southerners in the Sudanese army affected the 1972 Addis Ababa peace agreement that was abrogated by former Sudan’s president Jaafar Nimeiri.

Though the SPLA celebrated it 35th anniversary, the army has been in the Centre of criticism by both the national and international human rights bodies.

Since the war broke out in 2013, the army has been accused on several occasions of using rape as a weapon of war.

Human rights bodies have in the past accuse the army of raping women and girls while fetching firewood.

On Tuesday some members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) have called for serious reforms in the army.


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