Earlier this week, the media reported that the forces of the SPLA-IO and SSOA, who are awaiting deployment as part of the unification of the forces have not received their salaries since their graduation in August 2022.
The official spokesman for the SSPDF, Major General Lul Ruai, said that IO forces had not received their salaries, citing a financial error by the National Transitional Committee.
According to the security arrangements in the revitalised peace agreement, once the unified forces graduate, these forces will all operate under the banner of the SSPDF and under the command of the Commander-in-Chief of the SSPDF and the Ministry of Defence.
Therefore, disbursing soldiers’ salaries must be done uniformly and promptly. The forces must be paid equally regardless of their previous allegiances because they have decided to serve the nation.
South Sudan is still recovering from the wounds of the war, and the journey will not be complete unless all people who serve the country feel the government protects their interests equally. Anything to the contrary will generate dissatisfaction and injustice, which can turn into violence between social and political groups.
The ministries of Defence and Finance and planning, and the National Transitional Committee must hold their heads in shame for this. They must address this issue as quickly as possible. It is an issue that cannot be delayed, and it is necessary to unify the financial structures and channels.
We cannot say that we have unified forces, and at the same time, there is a large gap at the administrative and financial levels.
The various government institutions must realize the extent of the problems that could actually arise as a result of such a delay, error, or negligence. It is extremely important for the various government agencies to bear their responsibility in implementing the peace agreement and be careful to address issues that may obstruct the progress of the country towards promoting peace and development.
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