The South Sudan Armed Forces is correctly constituted at Part 10, Chapter 1 of the South Sudanese constitution. It currently primarily consists of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which was previously the armed wing of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and is in the process of becoming a regular army.
The mission of the South Sudan Armed Forces, as defined in the South Sudan Constitution:
Uphold this Constitution; defend the sovereignty of the country; protect the people of South Sudan; secure the territorial integrity of South Sudan; defend South Sudan against external threats and aggression; and be involved in addressing any emergencies, participate in reconstruction activities, and assist in disaster management and relief in accordance with this Constitution and the law.
Radio Miraya Journalist David Lomeling interviewed the SPLA Chief of Staff, Lt. General James Hoth Mai who talked about some of the challenges the SPLA as an army encounters while executing their duty.
David: What does this day entail personal to you somebody who is combatant and to all the combatants of the SPLA who have struggle for 21 years to ensure that today we are here?
General: We are very happy (even though) we have lost comrades, but today this day show that they did not die in vain as SPLA, we are really very happy and we are working to maintain peace and security in our country.
David: We know that this day does not come on a silver platter of course there are lot of challenges, could you elaborate more on some of the challenges that SPLA are facing currently?
General: Of course the challenges are there. You cannot build a country (and) an institution in one day it's a process we have really challenges. Challenges of transformation the (SPLA) from guerilla army to professional army it's very demanding (process) its need lot of resources, need lot of efforts, need lot of training these are the challenges' that we are really facing but we will surmount them.
David: Some people are saying that; one of the biggest challenges that you people are having is that you don't pay the army, does it have a negative impact?
General: It is not true at all! We are paying our army every month they receive their salaries and everybody is enjoying his life that these are people who just wish us bad luck or they want just to cause problems but we are receiving our salaries.
David: South Sudan and Sudan are still locked in places like Heglig, and you know there is lot of schemes amongst them was it a right decision for the SPLA to invade Heglig?
General: Well as we always said and our president said it several times...we were actually responding to what Khartoum was doing to us and we have no choice we have to go to Heglig and because of international pressure our commander in chief which is the president (ordered us) to pull out and then we pull out, as you know Heglig is part of south Sudan, it's contested area and I think it will be resolve amicably.
David: Are you skeptical or optimistic that there will be peace, lasting peace between the Sudan and south Sudan?
General: Peace will be there! Peace will be there ! Definitely will be there and Sudan and South Sudan are two countries created by God and we will remain there, I am sure that peace will come because we have to work together, we have to share lot things with the north am sure we will have peace with them.
David: What is your message to the SPLA particularly and the generally public?
General: to the SPLA I will say SPLA congratulation for this 1st anniversary and I will tell them that congratulation for the job well done, we are maintaining the security in our country and for our people I will tell them that they have to be patient. It will take us a while to build this country, but all of us we have to secure our country and we have to develop our country all of us. But we have to work day and night so that we build our beautiful country.
|Listen To General James Hoth Mai|