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South Sudan to retrench troops

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Daily nation (Nairobi) 14 Jan
By BADRU MULUMBA, NATION Correspondent

Southern Sudan will create a reserve military force as it reduces the
size of the main army based on tough new standards.
The reserve force would be made up of those removed from the main army
on account of, for example, scanty education and age.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army law, approved by the Parliament of
the autonomous Sudan region, and awaiting the signature of the President
of the Government of Southern Sudan before it becomes law, also sets the
retirement age for officers.
Government officials said the law will both make the army efficient and
disciplined by laying down offences and the punishments, but they could
not give the numbers.
“The army is large and personnel have to be productively occupied,” the
minister of SPLA Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial said. Nhial would not say the
number of troops.
“Because right now especially in the officers corps we have a large
number of officers. Some of them really – we have to find something for
them to do.”
Under the proposed law, army recruits would be between 18 and 30, with
no criminal record, and with a basic education for enlisted personnel
and not less than secondary education for the officer cadets.
Officers after commissioning would serve ten years. Enlisted personnel
after basic military training would serve six years.
The period of service may be extended without exceeding the prescribed
retirement age.
Those at the ranks of private to sergeant would retire at 47 years.
General officers would retire at 60. Sergeant major to regimental
sergeant majors, and majors to colonels would retire at fifty years.
Second lieutenants and captains would retire at 52 years.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the 21-year north-south
Sudan armed conflict recognised the Sudan Armed Forces, Sudan People’s
Liberation Army and the Joint/Integrated Units as the national armies.
The SAF is in charge of the north. SPLA is in charge of the south.
The law comes barely a week after complaints from legislators about
indiscipline in the army and rising crime that has swept across the
capital.
The Cabinet met last week to discuss the insecurity following both the
shooting into the air on New Year’s Day that led to five deaths, and the
general wave of crime involving knives and machetes and robberies around
Southern Sudan’s capital town, Juba.
“We discussed the general security situation,” Martin Ellia, minister
for Parliamentary Affairs said Tuesday. “We will convene again at the
end of January and discuss it in the presence of the two ministers, of
SPLA Affairs and of Internal Affairs.”
In a Parliamentary motion under debate in Parliament legislators cited a
two-year old killed by gunshots on New Year. On December 27, a man was
killed by machete. And on December 28, four thugs ambushed and sprayed a
vehicle with bullets along a road out of Juba.
At least five people were killed and a three-year old wounded by stray
bullets from the intensive random shootings by people apparently
celebrating Independence Day.
“We want to have a south which is run, and run in a way that everybody
is subject to the law, so that the rule of law prevails,” said Wani
Igga, Speaker of the Southern Sudan Parliament, and deputy chairperson
of Southern Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation
Movement.

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Written by torit1955

January 15, 2009 at 9:29 am

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