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Reforms needed in the Armed forces

A week ago security officers reportedly form the immigration department pounced on a Ugandan trader in Rumbek, Lakes state beating him like a chicken thief for allegedly lacking a valid Visa. In that story we reported that the officers demanded 500SSP from him which he didn’t have. When he was finally released after he was bleeding, another officer followed him and reportedly took 200SSP from him. This is just the tip of the iceberg showing the level of indiscipline by the men in uniform. Our security officers from all range of organs, whether police, the army, Wild life, prisons need to up their game if this country is to avert future instabilities. The current conflict of Riek Machar has roots in undisciplined officers who disobeyed lawful orders and instead followed tribal lines. A disciplined national army, police must be for all the citizens and people residing in the country without discrimination. It is common to find our officers in full uniforms drinking in bars and sometimes with riffles. You find officers in full military combat fighting with civilians in the middle of roads and other public places. You find uniformed officers sometimes even brandishing weapons walking in sandals in towns and sometimes brandishing weapons yet they were given boots!

All these are elements of indiscipline, which the military leadership must work on as a matter of agency. In some countries when you find police or the army your heart settles because you know your security is guaranteed. But some of our security officers are instead symbol of insecurity. We call on the good General Pieng Deng the Inspector General of police to crack the whip on his men who misbehave. We know General Pieng is one of the most disciplined officers that this country has ever had. Therefore we know he abhors indiscipline like he has said repeatedly on several occasions. Likewise the new leadership of SPLA must handle this monster of indiscipline with the decisive force that it deserves otherwise if it is left to go on it will become even harder to contain in future hence sowing more seed of instability. We think that there must be criteria through which one joins the armed forces. There must be a given level of education so that these officers know how to interact with the public. Equally important, the official Language of communication in this country is English, but it is absurd to find officers struggling to communicate.

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