Troop withdrawal isn’t community business: SSPDF

By Mary Poni

South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has warned community leaders against interfering in the affairs of the army in the country.

He was reacting to a press release from Bari Community, calling for the removal of the SSPDF from eastern and western side of River Nile also known as Bahr el Jebel or Supiri River for allegedly posing insecurity.

Speaking to journalists during a press briefing at the army Headquarters yesterday, Maj. Gen Lul Ruai, the army’s spokesperson asserted that deployment and withdrawal of troops from any zone in the country is the role of Chief of Defense Forces or relevant commands but not for community chairman to give directives.

“The withdrawal of forces is based on prevailing security threats in any given area in the country. When and where to deploy or redeploy forces is purely the business and prerogative of Chief of Defense Forces and relevant levels of commands based on prevailing security threats but not any given community chairman to give directives” he noted.

He reiterated that it is not the business of a given community leader to call media outlets to tell them that we are demanding for withdrawal of the national army from given piece of land in the country.

“If there are cases of insecurity being posed by some forces deployed in an area, then there is a way of resolving it since this is an individual case and there is a remedy” Ruai defended.

“If there are any reasons for the forces or issues arising for the deployment of the forces like the Chairperson for Bari Community said, it shouldn’t be generalized. It is just that some of the forces as an individual” he added.

The army’s spokesman affirmed that if any solider misbehaved towards communities, the commander should be alerted so that the culprit is held accountable.

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