By Mary Poni
The minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Angelina Teny has raised a serious concern for an establishment of military barracks.
She stated that at the current look of things, the armed forces are not organized in their respective places and working environments.
“In our working environment, we lack barracks hence, if we do have the barracks, which means there would be organized armies in a very disseminative place” she said.
She made the statement during her opening remarks in a workshop organized by UNMISS in collaboration with the Specialized Committee of Defense and Veterans Affairs in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the ministry of defense to foster the relationship between the civilians and the armed forces in the country.
The minister stated that with the availability of the barracks, it can clear each other’s ways of consciousness because of mingling together, creating a culture of an environment of respect towards one another.
Angelina stressed that without barracks, it become difficult to control and manage the consciousness and attitudes of the armed forces which is a challenging factor now.
“If we talk of military civil relation, we are really talking of the things where we need to reform the armed forces” she cited.
She stated that by having barracks, it will create a culture of inclusivity, a culture of respect for the dignity of the person and culture of understanding clearly of one another’s mandate.
“It will also create a situation whereby the civil population will trust the military however, it should be the people to trust the army in whatever good things they will deliver for the citizens.
The defenses minister underlined that the military activities especially during war situations usually creates instabilities which sometimes creates environment for misconduct especially if there is no strong system that is transparent and accountable within the army.
“About the welfare and the wellbeing of the members of the armed forces, their wellbeing starts from the working environment that includes creation of proper office space, the necessary barracks and other institutions that are needed which is basically infrastructure”.
On the other hand, she noted that it would be wise to ensure that they (army) have access and opportunity to education including their families.
“We have a lot of people within the armed forces who cannot read and write and they should have the opportunities to learn including their families” she underscored.
Angelina said the other aspect that should be put in to consideration for the army is the access to healthcare services for them and their families which is missing and a salary that is decent enough to help make them eat meat and other health food stuffs.
“By implementing all these, it will prohibit them from engaging in an activity that are destructive for instance cutting down of the trees for charcoal and other activities”.
Angelina Teny reiterated that the armed forces should be engaged in productivity and constant trainings adding that it will create the culture of understanding, and respect for others which will lead to a transparent efficient national defense operation.