Gov’t to deploy graduated forces without guns

Gov’t to deploy graduated forces without guns
Part of Necessary Unified Forces at Dr John Garang Mausoleum. {Photo: Yeip Joseph]

​Some of the newly graduated soldiers will be deployed to their respective stations but without guns.

Government spokesperson Michael Makuei said that the state does not have enough weapons for every officer who will be graduating today.

Makuei added that part of the over 52,000 Unified Necessary Forces who graduated on Tuesday in Juba used ‘dummy guns’ and sticks.

“We are unable to buy guns due to the arms embargo. Some friendly neighbours wanted to give us guns free but they are fearing the sanction,” he said

He added that a lack of enough weapons will see some forces deployed without guns.

“These forces graduated without guns. They will deploy and in the course of the deployment, we will avail them of whatever we have at that time. When will we acquire more guns once the embargo is lifted.”

Makeui reiterated the government’s stance that the soldiers will be graduated without guns.

South Sudan is currently serving an arms embargo meaning that the state cannot procure any military hardware.

Even though some of the 1,700 officers from prisons, wildlife, National Civil Defence Services and the VIP protection, who graduated on Tuesday at Dr John Garang Mausoleum, used guns, the state insisted that the weapons used were not real guns’.

“These are guns which were in our stores. They are not actual but symbolic guns (stun guns),” Makuei said

He reiterated that the forces cannot be referred to as “security forces” when they lack guns in their hands.

“Because these security forces cannot be security forces if they are not properly armed,” he said

He stated that the guns used to graduate the forces were old ones picked from the stores just for the function.

Makuei further called on the UN Security Council to reconsider its decision to slap the country with a sanction.