Advance SSPDF force lands in Congo, ground troops still lags

By Bida Elly David

The airlifted 300 SSPDF troops for DR Congo Peace Keeping mission has successfully landed in the Country’s eastern Goma region and welcomed by counterparts as the ground team still battles to set off following hardship to cross the border at Nadiapai of Western Equatoria State.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, SSPDF spokesperson said the SSPDF ground troops are still at Nabiapai awaiting completion of clearance to enter DRC territory after a long interval of time.

He revealed that the first team encountered number of procedures as entry to the Eastern part of Congo required serious processes such as entry permit noting that approval for their exodus has already been made and they are likely to cross border.

Gen. Lul said that all necessary logistics have been put in place and the competent SSPDF ground battalion during their period of station up to date lives in comfort with no drawbacks concerning their needs.

He further stated that the forces will soon cross Dungu zone which is the last point of entry and a place at the border of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with South Sudan.

Mr. Lul added that after exiting Dungu boarder on a land drive, the SSPDF shall be escorted by their counterparts to where they will base and later be paraded for comprehensive orientation that will lead to final deployment to the frontline. 

“The 300 SSPDF soldiers have reached Congo and received by their counterparts while the ground team is still in Nadiapai but they have received approval by the Congolese government to cross Dungu which is South Sudan boarder with DRC Congo,” he affirmed.

Lul in a phone interview yesterday with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper did not clarify the responsibilities and duties between the airlifted and the ground SSPDF forces despite numerous questions concerning the division of trips. 

In the previous report, Gen. Lul said the 300 forces airlifted were part of the 750 soldiers that were camped in Nadiapai without giving the reason as to why government chose to airlift them leaving others on the ground.

The departure of the soldiers by flight left citizens to question how the 750 battalion exceeded to 1,000 plus yet there has been need for the Country to be protected from external threats.

The statements that arose indicated that the 1,000 troops for a peace keeping mission was too much and risky as the Country will undergo deficit of competent troops since the transported were believed to have been well trained.

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