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Former SPLA generals publicly criticize military corruptio

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Former SPLA generals publicly criticize military corruption

By  Sarah Nyalual Chan

South Sudan's SPLA forces

South Sudan's SPLA forces

Dec. 8/2008, SSN; BENTIU, Unity State. The SPLA is grappling with a
growing opposition in the military to the most sweeping overhaul of
SPLA’s armed forces in over a generation.

Retired generals warned Tuesday that corruptions aimed at modernizing
the half-million-member armed forces are destroying SPLA’s military
capability and called for the SPLA Chief of General Staff and the
Defense top generals to be sacked and prosecuted.

The warnings, the most public criticism of the corruptions to date,
reflect rising anger among uniformed and civilian military officials.

“This isn’t reorganization. You can’t call the destruction of the army
reorganization,” Ret. General Tut Badeng said.

General Badeng, a former head of the SPLA Disabled agency, was
appointed to look at the SPLA reorganization in February 2008 by
President Kirr in what was seen as a move to bring order to military
finances and to combat graft.

He has presided over sometimes painful reorganizations that have drawn
increasingly loud grumbling from generals who’re upset with initiatives
that include stopping of lucrative military land, such as prime real
estate in downtown Juba for Generals.

Last month, he announced the most detailed changes yet, cutting
hundreds of generals, disbanding nine of every ten army units and
abolishing a balky Soviet-era structure that focused on divisions and
regiments in favor of smaller brigades. The number of junior officers,
such as lieutenants, will be increased by 10,000 to 60,000.

At a news conference in Bentiu, several top retired generals agreed
that reforms were needed but argued that the present corruption’s plans
are destructive.

Retired Gen. Tut Badeng called the SPLA generals as “the hotel dealers”
— a reference to their past experience running a furniture retailer —
and accused them of having no authority to lead the army.

He accused the SPLA top generals of embezzling defense funding, and
called for criminal investigation of their actions. In the past, he
said, the generals had inflicted on the army “more harm than a SAF
(Arab Sudan Armed Forces) agent.”

He also suggested the SPLA could face open revolt if the situations are
not changed as it had started by the Senior officers in Malou Infantry

“If the current leadership doesn’t want to defend our Fatherland, then
our officers in Malou will find a way to defend the Fatherland,” he
said. He refused to elaborate.

The corruptions come at a delicate time for the SPLA. Southern Sudan
national pride has surged amid a three-year long  corrupted boom.
Dismissed of Generals will   — have given Southern Sudanese renewed
confidence in their armed forces.

Military observers said the biggest danger comes from unpaid officers
and half of the SPLA army corps, who face bleak job prospects as the
tribal crisis deepens in the army promoted by the top generals. He
likened the situation to that after World War I, when a defeated
Germany and the weak Weimar government gave rise to the Nazis.

But he said the failure to pay the Senior officers in Malou could

“It’s too dangerous to play games with the military,” the General said.
“They know how to handle weapons, and they could be tempted to take
this GoSS in two days.”

Sarah  Nyalual Chan contributed to this report.

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Written by torit1955

December 10, 2008 at 5:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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