SSPDF air lifts 300 soldiers for Congo mission

By Bida Elly David

The Spokesperson of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has said that 300 out of 700 combatants will be airlifted for a peace keeping mission to the Eastern part of Congo to join the rest of the battalion from the East African community.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Lul Ruai the Spokesperson of the army said that the first group for the mission was camped at Nabiapai of Western Equatoria State following difficulties of accessing entry to the Eastern Part of the Democratic Republic of DRC.

Gen. Lul Ruai said that decisions for airlifting the battalion was made on the account that there was no direct route that links South Sudan to Congo especially the Eastern part.

Lul added that the only way for SSPDF battalion to reach Eastern Congo for their peace keeping mission to join the rest of the battalion from the East African Community is by airlifting them and later paraded to their camp after landing.

“Basically we are airlifting 300 out of 700 SSPDF forces that are going to Eastern Congo. We don’t have a direct road connection between South Sudan and Congo especially the Eastern part of it” Lul said.

Furthermore, Lul said that it is their mandate to ensure that their forces are paraded to represent the country in a peace keeping journey since Congo has been contributing a lot to the young nation in different bilateral areas.

He said that the first group of the SSPDF battalions for the Congo mission is still at the Western part of Equatoria region awaiting entrance to the DRC but entrance for their mission to Congo will be accomplished.

However, Lul Ruai did not reveal why the 300 hundred SSPDF forces are going to be airlifted while the first group of battalion remains hanging in Western Equatoria State.

Recently, the first group of the SSPDF battalion got stuck in Western Equatoria State following logistical issues that halted the accomplishment of the journey.

Communications from Lul Ruai revealed that the soldiers were in the process of processing their documents of entry with the hope that after completion; they would set off their journey.

In the latest development, there was no update on whether the troops stationed in Western Equatoria will first make a U-turn to Juba to be airlifted or set off from there.

With the second trip of the SSPDF peace keeping mission to Congo, the tale of the first group may most likely be questioned since the ministry of defense has been claimed by a new minister who succeeded the seat of the  predecessor.

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