SSPDF needs to reflect on success and failures since it’s transformation from a rag tag rebel movement

The South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) will on Thursday, May 16 mark the day of it’s formation.

The SSPDF is a nucleus of the former rebel movement Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which fought decades of the liberation war that paved way for independence of South Sudan in 2011.

However, despite some notable achievements the SSPDF is still struggling to shed itself of some negative conduct/behavior within it’s rank and file. It’s predecessor the SPLA did not fare well when it came to discipline within it’s rank.

Accusations of looting, commandeering property, sexual related sexual violence and ghost soldiers still persist to date.

The infamous incident of July 2016 when many officers of the SSPDF engaged in massive looting of shops and UN wares still rings in the minds of many South Sudanese today.

The top leadership of the SSPDF has it’s work cut out in regard to professionalizing the army.

A professional army the SSPDF aspires to be has strict code of conduct, a well-structured hierarchy and also proper working civilian relations.

 This is could be still a work in progress but recent incidents of violations of civilian rights recorded in Yei and Kajo Keji leave doubts.

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