SPLA Leadership deserves more than ‘thanks’ for having increased defence’s salaries!

By Paulino G. Kedok / Juba, South Sudan

June 17, 2011 (SSNA) — The top echelon (Leadership) of former guerrilla rebel movement, and the latter national army of the world‘s newest State, called the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS), globally known as the Sudan People‘s Liberation Army (SPLA), has recently taken a very bold and strategic decision by increasing the wages of its soldiers; a move that is believed to have hit two birds with one stone in terms of boosting South Sudan‘s official and National armed forces’ morale and capability at long last. This has long been expected and therefore its long over-due! The leadership of the SPLA deserves a credit and thump up for this!

The fact that Army was being underpaid was indeed a naked truth to the vivid knowledge of the SPLA command as the tangible salaries were very low and therefore it has been one of the SPLA army setbacks and challenges since Sudanese Pounds (SDG) welcomed them from the bush where they were neither used to a hard bodied metal like a coin nor a bendable leather type like banknote regularly, except on occasional basis.

For the last five or six years of the CPA era, a survivor soldier was paid less than three hundred pounds (300 SDGs) at irregular intervals/ paces of time, which did not ameliorate their financial situation as they didn’t experience anything “exceptional” since South Sudan’s Capital, Juba, is the most expensive city in the world. Renting a tent alone, or say a roughly thatched tukul is ranging between 400 and 500 SDG, and besides, there has never been any comprehensive land allocation to the army so that an individual soldier would feather his nest at his/her own risk.

Surely 300 SDG, (only three hundred Sudanese pounds) provided for a survivor soldier, who bravely and gallantly endured or withstood a freedom fighting for full two decades, was actually a curse in disguise as this payment did drag on and on after a couple of months; whereas debts accumulations would be ever beyond any good physician or mathematician’s calculations … and thus, that discounted the loyalty of our men and women to have cut down lowly on bravery and victory as they used to be during the civil war’s operational theatres.

One of the most outstanding obstacles, which is still a big challenge to our army, is over-delaying of their salaries. The Salaries of an army of soldiers in every nation should be regulated and standardized so that they are paid at the end of each month or in the first quarter of the month, depending on the given system; so as to provide effective accountability in order to avoid too many debts from the soldiers.

Because if any soldier incurs countless borrows, by the time he receives his/her salary, it’ll be as if he didn’t receive anything as he will be channelling everything to the debtors; and thus he remains empty-handed; this automatically brings frustrations, which decreases his morale and diminishes his performance in the army. The defence Salaries’ increase is as helpful as aiding our soldiers to serve the national interest and fulfil their duties since this would minimize excuses, such as conditional permissions in order to attend to family problems. This would also lessen problems in terms of procuring food or ration by selling away any domestic valuables/assets while on national duty call. This amount is now divisible for him and his family; unlike the toy salary, which didn’t even spend a week in the pocket of a soldier before reaching his/her family.

In any country, army is the first foundation which determines a state prosperity or failure, therefore, we the staunch proponents of the total sovereignty of this country, have lauded and celebrated these wise measures and increments taken at a very critical Y-junction by the SPLA Leadership and deemed this as a patriotic accomplishment for good rather than for evil purposes.

We the civil societies at all levels do hereby earnestly call upon the SPLA officers, NCOS and Men from any corner of South Sudan, South Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile to redouble up their efforts by recycling the renown and strength of their integrity, piety, discipline, and gallantry in protecting civilians and CPA. They will do so while maintaining domestic peace and security by deterring and pre-empting aggressions and transgressions as well as promoting and respecting human rights; and to abide by law in defending and preserving the national interest, this will set our human rights record right in the eye of international community and her partners in development.

Therefore, the leadership of SPLA deserves praise giving for having increased the army salaries. It is indeed a very magnificent and unparallel victory and has furthered the keenness of nationalism and the territorial imperative among the army manpower as this has been ever since the majority wishes or aspirations.

Finally, SPLA Leadership is required to expedite modernising of the army beyond ROSS ‘s wildest dreams in an exercise of pulling various wires to catch up any arrogant neighbour daydreaming that they are better armed than us and can also bully us at the extent of robbing and or depriving us of our inalienable rights and natural resources.

SPLA Oyee!

Long live the marginalised of the marginalised people!!

ROSS shall win at all cost at any rate!!

The Author: is an International Relations and Diplomacy Student at The Bridge University Juba and could be reached for comments at [email protected]

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