VP Taban calls for robust national army to safeguard South Sudan’s fragile borders
Addressing the SPLM preparatory rally for Upper Nile region's endorsement of President Salva Kiir for president in the 2024 elections at the Freedom Hall in Juba on Saturday, Taban asserted that a united and powerful army is indispensable to South Sudan's defense.
JUBA, NOV. 5, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s Vice-President for Infrastructure Cluster Taban Deng Gai has underscored the urgent need for a stronger and more professional national army to effectively protect the country’s vulnerable borders with neighboring nations.
Addressing the SPLM preparatory rally for Upper Nile region’s endorsement of President Salva Kiir for president in the 2024 elections at the Freedom Hall in Juba on Saturday, Taban asserted that a united and powerful army is indispensable to South Sudan’s defense.
“Let’s now go for nation-building to have one strong army, one army of South Sudan that is strong and if there is any body attacking us from outside, we fight,” he said.
“The inside war is finished the remaining is the war of the border. If there is someone who wants to grab our land our army is there, our civilians are there. This is very important to build the capacity of one army, army is important in nation building,” he added.
South Sudan is currently embroiled in border disputes with Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. Last month, Ugandan troops crossed into South Sudan’s Kajo-Keji County and detained around ten civilians. Locals at the time expressed distress over the Ugandan army’s harassment and presence.
In April, Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba called for a peaceful resolution to border disputes with neighboring countries. She stated that her country would employ peaceful means to resolve border disputes with Uganda and Kenya.
Her remarks followed attacks by armed men from Kenya’s Turkana County on areas inhabited by the Toposa tribe of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State.
The clashes erupted after the Turkana community allegedly attacked the Toposa in Nadapal, claiming that Toposa pastoralists had encroached on their territory.
Last month, South Sudan’s Inspector General of Police Gen. Majak Akec announced that the government was working to properly demarcate borders and deploy a sufficient number of well-equipped police officers along the borders to address persistent insecurity.
“Our borders are open, and to protect them, we need to equip the border police,” he stated at the time.
“We need an adequate number of border police; we need mobility; and we need the budget for the police to protect the border and monitor who is entering and leaving,” he added.
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