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‘Stay out of politics,’ Gen Deng Wol warns army

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2023

SSPDF Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Santino Deng Wol - Credit | Office of the President | July 26, 2022

The Chief of Defense Forces has told the army to stay out of politics and stick to its mandate of protecting the country’s sovereignty.

General Santino Deng Wol made the call as he briefed the top leadership of the army on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the Military headquarters in Bilpam on the allocation of posts to the armed forces.

According to the allocation, SSPDF will take 210 positions, SPLA-IO under Dr Riek Machar will have 105 positions, and SSOA 35 positions.

The distributions are made to SSPDF departments of operations, logistics, training, and moral orientations among others.

The arrangement is said to be in line with the respective distribution of 60 per cent for the SSPDF, 30 per cent for the SPLA-IO, and 10 per cent for the SSOA coalition.

In his address, General Santino Deng Wol asked the officers to abstain from politics and only protect the country’s borders and its properties.

He also told the officers to shun tribalism, citing the spirit of the liberation struggle when South Sudanese fought as one people for their freedom.

“We want every officer from our officers not to engage in politics because the army doesn’t have political parties,” Gen Deng said.

“The army is only to defend and protect the country’s properties and also to defend the border of the country. As one army of South Sudan to do all these mandates.”

“If your heart is there in politics we cannot stop you, you can go and exercise politics with the politicians,” he said. “But we don’t want the army here to exercise politics,” Deng added.

“We don’t want politics to be used in the army. What brought all these issues in this time is the issues of tribalism and politic, you leave your position in the army and take a side in the politics or specific tribe,” he said.

“The army cannot take a side with a specific tribe or politics,” he said. “During the liberation time we don’t have a political party it was only SPLA/M and we stood disciplined till we liberated this country.”

One of the best indicators of stability in any country is the ability of its armed forces to stay out of politics at any cost.

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