By Alex Digi
The Governor of Western Equatoria State Lt. Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba on Saturday appealed to the National Government to settle the soldier’s salaries.
The Western Equatoria State governor made the call during the graduation of over 2,000 unified forces in Maridi Military Training Center.
Speaking during the event, Futuyo said the sons and daughters of the soldiers who liberated the Nation are suffering on the streets across the country while politicians are benefiting and sending their children to better schools abroad.
“During the war there were two groups, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) after we got our independence, the liberators were left with nothing only SPLM who are the politicians benefiting sending their children to expensive schools abroad, but the real liberators’ children are now on the streets across the country collecting empty containers of water to survive, this is what brought Chaos in our country” Futuyo said.
“Please I am appealing to the National Government through Speaker Nunu, if these soldiers we have graduated them are not well paid then we are still expecting insecurity in the country because they will have nothing to feed their families, it is better to pay them good than politicians so that they can do their duty of protecting the Country” Futuyo appealed.
The Western Equatoria state governor stated that the graduation has given him a power over the soldiers since they are no more belonging to the parties they came from.
“This is to you the soldiers who have graduated today in Western Equatoria State, as the President said last time that he is the Commander in Chief of the army in South Sudan, is the same to us here in the state, from today you are no longer belonging to whoever brought you here, I am your commander, it was difficult for the state to control the soldiers in the state before because you were under different directives but now you will be getting directives from one commander,” he state.
In a response to the call, the Speaker of the Revitalized Transitional Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) Jemma Nunu Kumba said the Assembly has noted the challenges facing the salary structure in the country saying not only the soldiers but including the civil servants.
She promised that the Assembly will discuss on the budget which will come from the executive and approve with much consideration on the salary. She donated 1 million South Sudanese Pound (1,000,000 SSP) to the group of traditional dances.
“Actually, the Parliament doesn’t do budget, we only discuss what the executive will bring to us and we pass it. So, for the issue of salary it is genuine not only the soldiers but including the Civil servants, so as Parliament once we receive a budget from the Minister in the executive, we will pass it with much consideration on salary structure so that people are paid at standard salary to cater for their wellbeing” said Nunu.
Thousands of Mardi citizens on Saturday 17th September 2022 gathered in Maridi Freedom Square to witness the graduation of the Unified Forces.