By Alex Digi
South Sudan parties to the Revitalized peace agreement has graduated 2,146 unified forces over the weekend in Maridi Military Training Center of Western Equatoria State.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the National Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Angelina Teny said that the forces are for the nation not for the party again.
She congratulated the graduates saying Soldiers are to protect and defend the country and she donated 10 cows to the Unified Forces.
“Please as you have graduated today, you are no more a soldier of any party. You are the national forces whose role is to protect the sovereignty of the country and its territory and to respect the constitution,” she said.
“You are now under the directive of the new army which is South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) with the new slogan “Victory” there is no more Oyee, Viva or whatever you had before joining the unified national Forces,” she added.
Angelina said any soldier who has graduated doesn’t belong to any party but for the country, and those who have not should go for training.
“To those who didn’t attend the training, they must be taken for the training in the second phase so that they are qualified like those here today, and for the high rank people, there will be a special training which will focus on Leadership skills so that they are equipped with knowledge of leadership”.
Meanwhile the Director of the training center in Maridi Major. General Garang A Akol said there were a lot of challenges during the training which affected some training procedures.
“There are 2146 soldiers, who have gone under training here in Maridi Military Training Center, but they didn’t attend all the training skills because there were lots of challenges, the training was not stable, it was on and off”.
The unified forces were brought two years back from SSPDF, SPLA-IO, SSOA and other individual groups for the training based on the implementation of the peace agreement of R-ARCSS.