By Mary Poni
Around five hundred (500) South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) for Peace mission to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have received their travel documents.
According to the SSPDF spokesperson Lul Ruai, the processing of the papers for the remaining troops is expected to be finished in the next two days.
Responding to questions of delay in processing the documents, Lul Ruai, explained that the reason why the troops went without IDs is because most of the forces were withdrawn from different divisions – and without ID cards.
“The security personnel deployed in some areas never had service ID cards. The delay of the documents was because some of the soldiers are brought from fourth, fifth, third, divisions. Majority of them were not having the relevant documents such as, age assessment, Nationality and Passport,” he told journalists in Juba yesterday.
“If their documents are obtained in the next two days, then they will embark on the journey to their base. But I cannot tell you when they will leave for security reasons,” Maj. Gen. Lul said.
“Regarding the payment for the force that is going to Congo, I was told that the budget was provided and released by the national parliament. But the amount remains undisclosed. And that is why the forces were able to be equipped and provided some logistics service including other equipment given to them on the day they graduated,” he explicated.
Lul Ruai said the reason for the battalion’s presence in Western Equatoria is because SSPDF is going to have two bases.
“We are going to have an operational or logistical base in Western Equatoria and another operational base in Goma – where they (force) will be deployed. So, it is like they will be moving from our base in the country to Goma in Eastern DRC,” he further disclosed.
Western Equatoria borders DR. Congo to South West.