The Office of the President has issued a verbal statement that seek to clarify that the name of the SPLA has not been changed to that of South Sudan Defense Forces, despite confirming the change to media on Wednesday.
In a statement issued on SSBC last [Tuesday] night, the President’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek retracted from his earlier statement to the press that the new title for Chief of Defense Forces still applies to the SPLA, and not SSDF.
On Tuesday [yesterday] Mr. Ateny indicated that the change of the title of SPLA Chief of General Staff to Chief of Defense Forces was indeed based on the recommendation of a committee formed to review the structures of the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, and that the name change was “long overdue.”
He however clarified that the new title stands for Chief of Defense Forces of the SPLA.
It is however not clear whether to refer to General James Ajong’a as the new “SPLA Chief of Defense Forces” or “Chief of Defense Forces of the SPLA.”
South Sudanese online have sought clarifications on the deference between the word “Defense Forces” and the “SPLA”, and whether the later means the same.
Sisimaya Sam asked: “How can you change the name of Chief to Defense Force, leaving the name of army?”
Another online user, Baak V.A. Wol quoted the Office of the President as saying that the position of the SPLA Chief of General Staff has been replaced with that of the Chief of Defense Force.
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