The Oath of Loyalty: A Devine Covenant between Service Men and Women and the Supreme Constitution of the Country

The over 20,000 unified forces paraded at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum for their graduation on Tuesday August 30th 2022

By Ariik Kuol Ariik

On August 30, 2022, South Sudan successfully graduated the First Batch of the Unified forces at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba. The Regional Leaders from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Egypt attended the function.

The members of Diplomatic Mission from different Countries around the World and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were also present.

The training and graduation of the Unified Command fulfills one of the core principles of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia on September 02, 2018. This Agreement ended the five (05) years civil War in the Country. In the implementation matrix, parties to the Agreement recommitted themselves to peacefully end the three (03) years transitional period with conduct of free, fair, credible and transparent democratic elections in which parties agreed and extended this year for another two (02) years up to 2024.

Now, what the Oath of Allegiance means to servicemen and women?

This Question Examines the Oath of Loyalty in different Aspects as hereunder:

1. The Oath and Loyalty
2. The Oath and Sovereignty
3. The Oath and Discipline
4. The Oath and Morality
5. The Government Obligations and
6. The Conclusion.

The Oath and Loyalty.

In my view, the Oath of Loyalty means several moral obligations to men and women in uniforms. It is a Devine Covenant between individual personnel with Supreme Constitution of the Country (Republic of South Sudan). Each individual must discharge his/her duties in accordance to the Constitution, Code of Conducts, the underlining Regulations and Principles guiding different institutions of the security sector. It means, doing work with trust, commitments, integrity, neutrality, impartiality and professionalism.

The Oath and Sovereignty:

The Oath empower individual personnel to voluntarily stand tall, especially during time of aggressions in depending the Country’s Sovereignty and its population. This include; protecting people’s lives, essential assets, territorial integrity, water resources and extreme airspace against potential violations from enemies. In pursuance of these national duties, the exercise shall involve potential casualties including material and human loses. If such exercise is genuinely justifiable and reflects the ultimate will of the citizens, then, those who lose their lives are respectfully regarded as martyrs and fallen Heroes and are accorded with respect and dignity throughout the Country and their lives commemorated too.

After the death of a Service personnel, the Country must assumes the full responsibility of taking good care of the families of late Heroes through provision of essential basic services such as clean drinking water, food, shelter, health, education and adequate security etc. Upon witnessing these responsibilities from the government, the citizens continue increasing their Love  for the Country, soldiers become more willing to compromise their precious lives for the Country, security sector becomes more contested, because others are willing to join, widows and orphans continue chanting slogans of mighty sovereignty instead of mourning their love ones. On the International arena, the Country that cares much of her citizens including those who died in front lines, become more respected and accorded with due respect and necessary Diplomatic Immunity.

The Oath and Discipline:

The Organised Forces including Army, the Police, Prison, Wildlife, Civil Defence Force and the National Security Services are expected to display high discipline within their ranks and in relations with different components of the Civil population. As a Country, organised forces are required to provide basic security inclusively to South Sudanese people and the foreign nationals residing within the vicinity without discrimination throughout the Country. We are legally mandated to portray the good image of our Country and the people by doing what is just and lawful. We must respect everybody including civilians, Constitutional post holders, Foreign Diplomats accredited to our Country, our commanders, law, Democracy and Human Rights Advocates, Humanitarian and Religious workers, International and National Organisations as well as civil society Activists. We must clearly remember, South Sudan signed and ratified different treaties and conventions making it an active member of International body. This include; United Nations Human Rights, International Convention on the Rights of the Child, Democracy and Good Governance, Geneva Convention and Additional Protocols against all forms of War crime and crime against humanity, zero tolerance against rape and gender based violence, African Charter on the Rights of the Child and people’s Rights etc. These fundamental principles are binary to every member state of the United Nations and nations are obliged to respect them accordingly, South Sudan is not exceptional.

The Oath and morality:

The security sector in general, must be moral worthy in carrying out their legal obligations without breaking the law. For instance, the Country has been experiencing the alarms of lawlessness during time of Conflicts. In recent years, there were several reports of women and girls raped by soldiers in Bentiu, Yambio, Yei, Magwi, Malakal, Wau, Juba POC and other parts of the Country. On the same note, there were reports of organised forces erecting multiple road blocks along the highways leading to different regions. The truck drivers and other road users have been bitterly complaining about the heavy tax illegally collected by security forces on the way. Several reports accused the Country’s security forces of looting travellers and robbed residents of their properties, especially in Juba. On many occasions, suspects apprehended by security forces in Juba, always comprised of the members of organised forces, thus proving the public outcry true. Separately, foreign nationals entering the country, private and public taxi drivers, boda-boda riders, companies, Humanitarian Agencies accuses the police of illegal collection of taxes without authentic notification payment receipt. According to different sources, police have been collecting money on immigration, vehicle’s plate numbers, log books, driving license even when documents are still valid. This is unethical method the Organised Forces must immediately cease doing it along their duties.

The Government Obligations:

The government must ensure the welfare of organised Forces through provision of necessary logistics such as uniforms, arms, transport, water, food, medical services and basic trainings. The government must ensure timely provision of monthly salary, quick deployment of forces, ranking structure and biometric registration of forces to meet the basis of forming the standard, professional and conventional Army in the Region. The Commanding officers must avoid promoting their family relatives and neglecting those on active duty. For example, security sector has been badly consumed by internal corruption where those in power promotes their wives, children and in-laws who have never received basic professional training leaving the active personnel redundant and neglected. When promoting untrained, the un-oriented kind of a police personnel or a soldier who is on schooling somewhere in East Africa and Diaspora, you are not only disadvantaging the neglected active personnel, you are also harming the Country. Because, you are creating a duty vacuum, financial misconduct, Constitutional bridging, violating the Labour and Public Service Acts and abusing the trust of the President and South Sudanese people. The government must seriously look into this matter and reciprocate the malpractices by imposing radical accountability against individuals involved in order to reduce the effects and magnitude of institutional corruption.


With recent graduation of Unified Forces, service men and women must strictly observe and stick to their moral obligations in upholding the Country’s Constitution, protecting territorial integrity, water resources and airspace, ensuring the lives of civil population including foreign nationals and essential assets they are possessing. The Organised Forces must respect Human Rights Principles by avoiding abuses including illegal detention, rapes, gender based violence, torturing of inmates under their custody. They must respect their Oath through disengaging themseves from politics, tribalism, sectarianism and ethnicity. They must seize from collecting unathorised money from citizens and foreign nationals and checkpoints must be erected for security purpose only. They must improve their working relations with civil population and restore trust through integrity, neutrality in politics, ethnicity, be more impartial and professional. Therefore, involving themselves in unethical practices of tribal affiliations, rebellion, sectarianism and Regionalism definitely breaks their Oath of Allegiance to the Country and the people.

About the Author,

Ariik Kuol Ariik Mawien,

He holds Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development and Community Studies (2018/2019) and Bachelor of Science in Economics (2013-2017) from Rumbek University of Science and Technology (RUST). Works as Journalist and Opinions Writer in many occasions. He works in accordance to National and Media Authority Laws, Rules and Regulations throughout his Service. He observes standards of journalism with high Degree of neutrality, impartiality, integrity, professionalism and balanced information. He can be reached via contacts

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