Title: SPLA ARMY RECEIVED NEW WEAPONS TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION
Author: Gordon Buay
Date: 08-01-2014, 12:15 PM
SPLA ARMY RECEIVED NEW WEAPONS TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION
For Immediate Release
August, 1st, 2013
The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, introduced new weapons to the SPLA army to defend peace and the constitution. After Martyrs Day celebration on July, 30, the Minister of Defense unveiled new weapons to consolidate peace in South Sudan. Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities on January, 23rd with renegade Riek Machar, the rebels have been repeatedly violating the agreement. On July 20 and 21, the rebels attacked Nasir and Ayod respectively in violation of the CoH signed in Addis Ababa. The international community, including the UN Secretary General, condemned the rebels for violating the CoH and advised the government of South Sudan to protect the civilians from anti-peace elements.
On July, 31st, the Minister of Defense introduced new Kalashnikov rifle known as AK-103 which is a rocket launcher. AK-103 is different from AK-47 the SPLA forces used before because it doubles as a rocket launcher. The SPLA forces in Nasir, Ulang, Maiwut, Longichuk and Malakal are the first to receive it. The rest of the SPLA forces will receive it in a week.
The Minister of Defense also unveiled amphibious tanks to handle the Sudd and swampy areas of Greater Upper Nile Region. Since most areas of the Greater Upper Region have no roads, the ideal tank for South Sudan is Amphibious Attack Vehicles (AAVs) that can be used in the land and water. Each Amphibious tank carries twenty soldiers and it can travel for 200 miles without refueling. Given the impassibility of South Sudan, the amphibious tank is the best weapon to defend peace and to protect the civilians from the anti-peace elements who don’t want to respect the Cessation of Hostilities.
The SPLA forces in Nasir received three amphibious tanks; the SPLA forces in Ayod obtained two while the SPLA forces in Unity State are equipped with five to protect oil installations from the rebels who do not observe CoH.
As Gen. Kuol Manyang said, the introduction of AK-103 rocket launcher and amphibious tanks is to consolidate peace in South Sudan. The SPLA army was ordered by the Commander in chief to observe the CoH and the only thing the SPLA is obliged to do is to defend themselves when attacked. As witnessed by the IGAD’s Verification and Monitoring Team, the rebels of Riek Machar are responsible for the violations of the CoH. Since the signing of CoH on January, 23rd, 2014, the SPLA army has never violated the agreement. The IGAD confirmed that the SPLA strictly observed it. The SPLA has been defending itself from the rebels who made it clear that they are not bound by any agreement.
Gen. Gordon Buay
Member of Other Armed Groups Integration Committee
Email: [email protected]