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SPLA (Army of South Sudan)

Date Snippet Page
2014/07/04 Equatorians in the army and police are being disarmed, says the governor of CES. Snippet: Equatorians in the army and police are being disarmed, says the govern....
2014/07/02 The Finance Minister tables an annual budget for South Sudan in parliament. The amount is reduced from SSP 17.3 billion in 2013-4 to SSP 11.3 billion. He reveals that South Sudan has debts of about SSP 10 billion. 74% of the budget is devoted to the salaries of government employees and the security sector. The minister complains at 'fiscal indiscipline', largely meaning corruption. Snippet: The Finance Minister tables an annual budget for South Sudan in parlia....
2014/06 More than a thousand SPLA soldiers desert their posts in Jonglei apparently as a result of non-payment of wages for as much as much as six months. Snippet: More than a thousand SPLA soldiers desert their posts in Jonglei appar....
2014/06/05 The caretaker governor of Lakes orders chiefs and county commissioners to recruit 800 youth per county into the SPLA, and recruit them by force if necessary. Snippet: The caretaker governor of Lakes orders chiefs and county commissioners....
2014/06/01 Lam Akol (leader of parliamentary opposition party SPLM-DC) adds his voice to calls for a federal system of governance, and de-linking of the national army from the ruling SPLM party. Snippet: Lam Akol (leader of parliamentary opposition party SPLM-DC) adds his v....
2014/05/27 SPLA soldiers in Maban County have been divided into different camps, based on ethnicity. This is reportedly due to an order from the high command. Snippet: SPLA soldiers in Maban County have been divided into different camps, ....
2014/05/04 SPLA recaptures Nasir and Bentiu, and repulses a rebel attack on Renk. Amid diplomatic pressure to implement the 23 January Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, the presidency claims that the SPLA marched into the towns after they had been deserted by the rebel forces. However, other reports had spoken of heavy fighting. Snippet: SPLA recaptures Nasir and Bentiu, and repulses a r....
2014/04/27 The acting governor of Lakes State, Matur Chut, urges youth to join the military, saying the country needs them for protection using the principle of 'an eye for an eye'. Snippet
2014/04/28 James Hoth Mai, recently sacked as SPLA General Chief of Staff, says the great majority of SPLA soldiers are illiterate and have tribal loyalty to former commanders or warlords who recruited them, and this is a cause of the current crisis. He also says he does not feel bad about being removed from the post, as he was under pressure, blamed by both Dinka and Nuer for being against them. Snippet
2014/04/26 to 2014/04/27 A large defection of SPLA soldiers in Wau leads to fighting, and also to panic especially among Nuer citizens. The state government seeks to avert ethnic violence by mounting joint patrols. But about 700 flee to the UNMISS camp. One of the defecting generals explains that the action came because Nuer soldiers felt under threat from their Dinka colleagues especially after the recent defections and fighting in Mapel. Snippet 1874
2014/04/24 to 2014/04/25 Tensions within SPLA forces in Mapel (WBGS) reportedly lead to heavy fighting and defection of about 150 soldiers. Snippet
2015/04/25 A press release from SPLM-in-Opposition denies its forces carried out targeted killings of civilians in Bentiu. It accuses GRSS and its allies in JEM of killing civilians before they left the town in order to frame the rebels. It also denies any official broadcasting of hate speech, while conceding that individuals might have expressed anger during talk shows. It accuses UNMISS of getting the story from GRSS and not investigating independently. Snippet 1870
2014/04/23 President Kiir dismisses James Hoth Mai as SPLA Chief of General Staff, and replaces him with the Governor of NBGS, Paul Malong Awan. Kiir also dismisses Mac Paul as chief of military intelligence and replaces him with Marial Nuor. Marial Nuor was in 2011 charged with a variety of crimes including corruption and abuses of military power, but has apparently not yet been tried. Snippet 1863
2014/04/23 Leer and Mayom Counties of Unity State have fallen under the control of rebels, admits Information Minister Michael Makuei. He blames traitors within the SPLA, and asserts that the key towns will be recaptured within 24 hours. Snippet
2014/04/17 The recent fall of Bentiu is blamed by a top military officer contacted by Sudan Tribune on lack of ammunition, and the failure of people 'close to the president' to arrange timely funding for an air flight of new supplies. Snippet
2014/04/14 SPLM-in-Opposition again captures Bentiu, the capital of Unity State, three months after GRSS forces captured it. Snippet
2014/04/14 The Union of National Banks of South Sudan donates a thousand bags of food (sugar, beans and flour) for displaced people and the army in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile. Snippet
2014/03/24 Soldiers wounded and disabled in recent fighting protest in Juba against non-payment of their January salaries. Snippet
2014/03/23 to 2014/04/19 Police, army and wildlife forces conduct searches for illegal arms in Juba - house-to-house and at checkpoints - and find 6,000 within a month, including RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and other assault weapons. Snippet 1696
2014/03/23 A defence cooperation deal is reportedly signed with Egypt, when Defence Minister Kuol Manyang leads a delegation to Cairo: a deal which seems to open a prospect of Egyptian military aid. But Foreign Affairs Minister Marial later seems to dismiss a military aspect of the trip, saying it was mainly about receiving Egypt's assurance of diplomatic support for the elected government, and offering South Sudan's help for Egypt to resolve its dispute with Ethiopia over Nile waters. Snippet 1682
2014/03/19 The SPLA recaptures Malakal from rebels. A rebel spokesperson says they will claim the oil fields in Upper Nile State, and resist the deployment of any IGAD force sent to defend the infrastructure. Snippet
2014/03/17 Soldiers are banned from moving around with firearms in Rumbek Town, by order of the Rumbek Central County commissioner. Snippet
2014/03/17 The UN Security Council expresses grave concern about the security situation in Abyei, and demands that South Sudan and Sudan withdraw their security forces as they agreed in June 2011. Snippet
2014/03/14 The SPLA spokesman reveals that 120 suspected SPLA criminals (detained after mid-December killings) escaped from detention during fighting at HQ barracks on 5th March. Snippet
2014/03/13 Increased tensions in northern Abyei risk sparking a new war, warns the Enough Project. SPLA cadres have been interfering with Misseriya seasonal migration. The existing agreement to demilitarize the area should be honoured, and the international community should pay attention to this. Snippet
2014/03/12 Many soldiers will be moved out of Juba, and those remaining will have to hand in their guns when not on duty, says SPLA spokesperson. This shootings that killed many in early March. Snippet
2014/03/12 'Chollo Kingdom is undergoing ethnic cleansing' claims a diaspora group, adding that GRSS has not provided the required protection. Snippet
2014/02 to 2014/03 Traditional chiefs are among victims of targeted killings in March by SPLA in Gou Payam (Leer County, Upper Nile), according to an SPLM-in-Opposition spokesman. In February, two famous chiefs were killed by SPLA in Panyijiar County (Unity State), he said. Snippet
2014/02/22 SPLA says: 'More than 20 SPLA officers are [under arrest and] being investigated for killing innocent civilians'. Snippet
2014/03 Caretaker governor of Unity State, Joseph Nguen Monytuil, challenges President Kiir over the 5th March shootings of Nuer soldiers in HQ barracks, according to Upper Nile Times. Monytuil reportedly says the soldiers had been ordered out of the UNMISS compound by President Kiir and were unarmed and requesting their pay when shot. Kiir reportedly does not comment on this but suggests all SPLA other than presidential guards be disarmed while in Juba, a suggestion Monytuil rejects. Snippet
2013/12/15 to 2014/03 Oil production by GPOC and SPOC in Unity State was closed down when the SPLA 4th Division defected to rebels in December 2013 (although the DPOC production in Upper Nile continued). By March 2014 GPOC is sending some staff back, and hopes production may resume in 1-2 months. Snippet
2014/03/05 Local residents report at least six killings outside Giyada (HQ) barracks, where the army says five soldiers were killed in an internal pay dispute. One reported incident was of a targeted killing of two Nuer soldiers hiding in a private compound, and an Ethiopian who tried to protect them. Another reported incident involved the deaths of two Ugandans and a South Sudanese person in the Jabarona market area. Snippet 1538
2014/03/05 At least five and perhaps many more soldiers and civilians are killed in shooting in and near Giyada (HQ) barracks (Juba town). It reportedly occurred when commandos of Tiger division, led by Brig. Gen Gatwich Gai (or Gatwiech Dual) thought a payment committee would deny pay to those of them who went into hiding after the December violence in Juba and outbreak of rebellion. Bodies are seen which have apparently been run over by tanks. Four officers are arrested, including Gatwich. Snippet 1537
2014/02/26 The US is shifting some of its security sector aid support from the South Sudan forces to the IGAD ceasefire monitoring operation, according to special envoy, Donald Booth. Snippet
2014/02/17 70% of the SPLA will potentially defect to Riek Machar, according to SPLM chief whip, Tulio Odongi in the NLA. Interior minister Aleu Ayieny says his ministry is 'terribly affected' as police officers defect to the rebels. SLA votes a supplementary budget of more than $300 million dollars to deal with the security threats, much of which may be paid for the services of Ugandan military. Snippet
2014/01/20 SPLA announces that it has recaptured Malakal from rebels. The rebels had been holding it for about a week. Snippet 1395
2014/01/18 The SPLA with Ugandan forces recaptures Bor town from rebels (White Army and Peter Gatdet's forces). Snippet: The SPLA with Ugandan forces recaptures Bor town f....
2012 to 2013 UJOSS (the Union of Journalists of South Sudan), together with AMDISS (Association of Media Development in South Sudan) have been organizing national and state-level dialogue with security agencies, including the SPLA's Directorate of Information and Moral Orientation. UJOSS has registered more than 20 incidents of trouble between journalists and security agencies in 2013, but its chairperson says that in general it is a problem of 'misunderstanding'. Snippet
2013/08/23 Angry soldiers in Bor area, Jonglei state, have been blocking roads to protest against six month arrears of salaries. They have been resorting to borrowing from shops, and engaging in petty business (firewood). Snippet
2013/08 Incoming Minister of Defance and Veteran Affairs, Kuol Manyang Juuk, gives an interview in which he acknowledges a need to tackle indiscipline in the SPLA. He sees a need for timely salaries and food, more rigorous training and more modern equipment, in which case the size of the army can be reduced. Snippet
2012/08 President Kiir on recommendation of NLA has recently ordered a review of salaries in the national security organs. Snippet
2013/08/08 to 2013/08/15 On 8th August, senior members of the US congressional committee on foreign relations write to President Kiir calling for reassignment of the SPLA commander in Jonglei, and investigations into soldiers suspected of committing human rights violations and ethnically-motivated violence. On 15th August, the new defence minister confirms that an investigation is taking place. Snippet
2013/08/09 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks on phone with President Kiir. Subjects discussed are reported to include the new cabinet, the situation in Jonglei, protection of citizens (including against abuses by the SPLA) and Sudan's extended deadline for shutting down the oil pipeline. Snippet 1127
2013/08 Military exercises are held near Salva Kiir's weekend residence at Luri. Reportedly these are for a military unit which Kiir has ordered to be stationed in the area against the wishes of army Chief of Staff, James Hoth. Snippet 1062
2013/04 to 2013/08 Peace was declared by some rebel groups - SSLA (South Sudan Liberation Army), SSDA (South Sudan Democratic Army) and SSDF (South Sudan Defense Forces) - in April 2013. President Kiir issued an amnesty. 5,000 SSLA soldiers then moved to Mayom County in UNS. In August, talks began on their reintegration, mostly into the SPLA and the SSPS. GOSS's peace and integration committee for this is headed by Thomas Cirilo. Snippet
2013/07/30 President Kiir uses Martyrs Day speech to call for SPLA accountability over abuses against civilians in Jonglei State. He also asks Murle leaders to persuade Yauyau to accept amnesty. Snippet 1039
2012/02 to 2012/03 The prevalence of HIV in the SPLA is estimated at 'over four percent'. UNFPA distributes condoms to the SPLA to help it reduce HIV infection. Snippet 964
2012/10 Oct 2012: Kiir orders army security in Juba amid coup rumours as he visits Uganda (ST 12 Oct). Warns that any coup will not be accepted internationally (ST 16 Oct). Snippet 790
2013/02/13 President Kiir removes over 100 generals from active service, including Taban Deng Gai (Governor of Unity State), Simon Kun Puoch (Governor of Upper Nile State), Louis Lobong Lojore (Governor of EES) and Rizik Zacchariah Hassan (Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State). Snippet 673
2013/02/02 SPLA and Upper Nile State Government say Sudan Armed Forces attacked SPLA in Upper Nile by ground and air on 2nd February, at Balbanis/Algoli area in Renk County. They say this follows two attacks in the area in late December and early January. Snippet 614
2012 Around 2012 the army had 600 generals (who took a large amount of resources) (Alex de Waal, 2013) Snippet 606
2012/10 Oct 2012 SPLA work brigades have been farming in WES (Gurtong 16 Oct) Snippet 597
2012 UK has defence attache who is supposed to support defence and security development in SS (Miraya, 16 Aug, CRN 17 Aug 2012) Snippet 571
Reference Mini-review
Small Arms Survey, 2014/04. Excess Arms in South Sudan Security Forces and Surplus Management [Report] Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

This 16-page report finds that South Sudan has no policy for management of surplus arms, and that inventory control is generally weak.

HSBA, 2014/03/18. The Conflict in Upper Nile State [Article] Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

2,000-word narrative on the rebellion-related fighting in Upper Nile State since December 2013.

HSBA, 2014/03/18. The Conflict in Unity State [Article] Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

1,400-word article narrating the fighting in Unity State associated with the rebellion since December 2013.

Alex de Waal, 2014/03/13. Visualizing South Sudan: The Culprit: The Army [Article] World Peace Foundation, Tufts University. Accessed online.

Single-webpage article which includes the interesting (but unreferenced) assertions that the SPLA has nearly 250,000 soldiers among which are 745 generals (more generals than the US army). In 2012, defence accounted for about 35% of government expenditure, of which about 80% was payroll.

Elena Balatti, 2014/03/07. Malakal: An Eye-Witness Diary [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online.

Valuable testimony by a nun, which helps one visualise more clearly what happened in Malakal during in early 2014.

PaanLuel Wël, 2014/03/06. What Happened on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 in Juba? [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

Clear and thoughtful account of what was known of the 5th March events the day afterwards.

Mahmood Mamdani, 2014/02/15. South Sudan and its unending bloody conflict: No power-sharing without political reform [Article] The East African.

This 5,000-word article is particularly interesting in view of its author's status as a public intellectual and a member of the AU Commission of Enquiry. Mamdani argues that the rebellion crisis has roots in colonial techniques for managing populations as tribes, which still shape politico-social relationships. It blames a failure to build institutional culture in the SPLM/A and a 'shoddy' 2005 peace agreement largely on the influence of the US's War on Terror. It sees a way forward in combining political reforms with power-sharing, rather than punishing the perpetrators of gross violence.

Eluzai Hakim and others, 2014/02/01. Unleashing the Potential for Good Governance in the Republic of South Sudan [Report] South Sudanese Professionals in Diaspora. Accessed online.

This paper by five diaspora intellectuals is intended to influence post-rebellion settlement discussions. It affirms widespread principles of good governance and makes many more specific recommendations such as: having a federal system of three regions rather than ten states; gradually demobilize the SPLA and replace it with a systematically trained national army with soldiers drawn equally from each of the three regions; re-draft the national constitution ensuring independence of the executive and judiciary, and limiting the President's use of decrees.

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